1-23 April, 2021 WA Museum of the Great Southern, Residency Rd, Albany, Western Australia.
MIX Artists are currently creating new artworks for their 2021 exhibition Refugium.
Refugium (plural=refugia), Latin for "refuge" or "hideaway". Refuge is a sanctuary, safehold, ark- also in Latin a sacrarium, sanctum sanctorum. For us as humans, the planet is our refugium – our home – the place where we can flourish as a species.
It is timely to reflect on current issues concerning both human and environmental response to rapid change, and the exhibition will focus on the concept of 'refugium' as it applies to both the natural environment and human resilience and adaptation. The COVID pandemic has highlighted for us a sense of fragility and vulnerability within our own human biology/biome emphasizing just how easily and quickly the world of microbes can threaten our very existence.
In Refugium twenty artists will investigate themes related to our home in a biodiversity hotspot, including our recent refuge-like COVID experience.
The project revives MIX's partnership with nature restoration group Gondwana Link which was developed in 2005 – 2006 when MIX Artists presented the Hotspot Cultural Project. In this wide- ranging project, artists and communities in the Great Southern created innovative artistic responses to the treasures, issues, history and challenges of the environment. Fifteen years later, it is timely to re-visit this topic and to look at it anew, with the added context of the global pandemic. In re-connecting with Gondwana Link, MIX Artists are linking artists with scientists and the natural environment and exploring the nexus between environmental and human health.
In February 2020, MIX members viewed the Gondwana Link film Breathing Life into Boodja.
Restrictions due to COVID-19 put a hold on visits to different sites of interest in March - June.
In September 2020, MIX Artists visited the Twin Creeks Conservation Reserve which is owned and cared for by the Friends of the Porongorups. Further to this, individual MIX members are undertaking their own research pertinent to their artwork concept.
In the process of developing artworks for an exhibition, MIX Artists find it useful to meet to share ideas, discuss possibilities and provide feedback. The Refugium artists have two scheduled discussion/feedback sessions on November 7, 2020 and January 30, 2021.
Photos: Top, middle: Visit to Twin Creeks Conservation Reserve, hosted by Friends of the Porongorup. Photos: A. Keesing. Bottom: At the Refugium idea sharing workshop, November 7, 2020. Photo: A. Davis.
This project is supported through the State Government’s Royalties for Regions Program
as part of the Regional Arts and Cultural Investment Program, and Regional Arts WA.