Saturday, April 12, 2014

Wish You Were Where? Environmental Refugees
Prints on Paper

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

This blogspot is not only devoted to ArtCloth and all things fabric (e.g. wearables) but also to limited edition prints on paper and artists' printmakers books. I have listed below for your convenience my contribution to this artistic genre.

Made to Order
Unique State (Partners in Print)
Wangi's Djiran:"Unique State" Prints
Veiled Curtains
A Letter to a Friend
Beyond the Fear of Freedom
Travelling Solander Project
Star Series
Cry for the Wilderness
Federation on Hold - Call Waiting
The Four Seasons

According to a United Nations report, the current world population of 7.2 billion is projected to increase by 1 billion over the next 12 years and reach 9.6 billion by 2050. It is estimated that the current sea level rise is about 3 mm/year worldwide. According to the US National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration, “…this is a significantly larger rate than the sea-level rise averaged over the last several thousand years", and the rate may be increasing due to spiralling energy demand. The rise in sea levels around the world potentially affects human populations in coastal and island regions and natural environments like marine ecosystems (e.g. Great Barrier Reef).

World’s Population Growth.

The Marshall Islands, a group of 29 atolls and coral islands standing on average only two meters above sea level, and lying halfway between Australia and Hawaii, are particularly vulnerable to climate change. Other small island Pacific “microstates,” including the Solomons, Tuvalu and the Carteret Islands, have all suffered rapid erosion, higher tides, storm surges and inundation of their freshwater wells with seawater. Kiribati’s president, Anote Tong, predicted his country was likely to become uninhabitable between 30 and 60 years from now because of inundation and contamination of its freshwater supplies. These islands produce less than 0.1 percent of the world’s emissions, and yet will be at the forefront of suffering due to anthropogenic climate change caused by the world’s biggest emitters (e.g. China, USA, European Union, India, Russia etc.)

Tuvalu is a small island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean. With a maximum elevation of 4.6 meters and an average elevation of only 2 meters above sea level, Tuvalu is one of the most vulnerable countries to the impacts of climate change.

Clearly, one day environmental refugees will arrive by boat in Australia, but will they be treated by the Australian Government differently than the current cruel treatment of boat arrivals, who are political refugees?

Title: Wish You Were Where? Environmental Refugees
Artist: Marie-Therese Wisniowski.
Technique: Deconstructed silk screen-prints and postage stamps, re-digitized into digital prints on paper.
Size: Unframed 30 (h) x 42 (w) cm.
Edition Number: Three editions are available for purchase.

The Concept
Global warming will cause polar caps to melt, sea levels to rise and changes in weather patterns (such has altering rain patterns and rendering continents into decades of long drought conditions). The concept of translocation of peoples due to environmental hardships is not new (e.g. The Huns, Mongolians etc.) However, as the borders of Nations have hardened and so are less permeable, translocation is now far more difficult. This series depicts the emergence of environmental refugees. Each print is in a postcard format, signifying an iconic message to government’s to arrest current factors contributing to global warming.

This series was first exhibited in a group exhibition titled - "Blue" - at the Newcastle Printmakers Workshop Mini Print Exhibition, Back to Back Gallery, Cooks Hill, Newcastle (Australia). It was then exhibited at Marie-Therese's solo exhibition - The Journey - at the Megalo Print Studio & Gallery in Canberra (Australia).

Wish You Were Where? Environmental Refugees I represents the disappearance of current coastal regions due to sea level rises (e.g. Venice, Los Angeles, Holland).

Wish You Were Where? Environmental Refugees II traces the disappearance of low-lying islands and atolls.

Wish You Were Where? Environmental Refugees III depicts continents dominated by deserts due to changing rain patterns, thereby being unable to support human population.

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