INAUGURAL EVENT IN 2021
Thirty seven local and invited artists created and installed 54 environmental sculptures, installations and multimedia artworks which responded to current regional and global environmental issues. Seven thousand people attended the festival which was a remarkable achievement considering state and international borders were closed due to the pandemic.
Volunteers maintained a constant presence to welcome and inform visitors. Images of the 2021 artworks are on this website.
SITES FOR CRT 2021 INCLUDED:
- The Port Douglas Community Hall and grounds.
- Outdoor ‘site specific’ sculptures and a multimedia screen were installed on the Flagstaff Hill Walk and Rex Smeal Park.
- Mossman Shire Hall was used as an installation and workshop site for children.
Douglas Shire Council (DSC) was very supportive again of the event through the provision of funding, venues and personnel.
Arts Queensland, through the Regional Arts Development Funds and Regional Arts Fund provided partial funding for artists. Local businesses and individuals provided support and funding. Mossman Rotary Club fully funded The Garden of Plastic children’s workshops and mural development.
The event had additional support during 2020 developmental workshops from local established environmental groups such as Tangaroa Blue Foundation, Douglas Shire Sustainability Group, Central Queensland University and Mangrove Watch.
Tourism Port Douglas and Daintree (TPDD) provided significant in-kind publicity and marketing support through their networks.
Significant in-kind contributions were made by the entire CRT team and DSC in the form of venue and equipment hire and publicity. NorthSite Contemporary Arts in Cairns hosted a significant prior exhibition of selected works towards the 2021 festival in February 2021.
Click on the artists below from CRT 2021
The following are excerpts from Artists statements from CRT 2021. See images of their work under each tab. To accompany the images of artists works is the Artists Name, Title of Work, Year Created, Size of work, Materials used.
Patricia Abela is an Australian artist based in the Blue Mountains. Her art is highly responsive to the sublime beauty and fragility of the World Heritage listed Blue Mountains National Park and other natural ecosystems.
Patricia explores the concepts of the transient nature of life and the permanence of death using natural materials and found objects. This transition from life to death is represented in sculptural forms and drawings that embody strength and a spiritual power. The natural materials are a symbol of the impermanence of life. www.patriciaabela.com
Global Sea Grass Survival
Abela’s artwork evokes a sense of being amongst the grasses. Her idea was to create an artwork with which people could connect, to further their understanding of the global importance of protecting, conserving and restoring seagrass meadows. The grasses in the drawing reflect the stages of decay with colours merging from green, silver to white representing the seagrass alive, to dying.
Seagrasses perform numerous functions: stabilizing the sea floor, providing food and habitat for marine organisms, maintaining water quality and supporting local economies. Dugongs and sea turtles rely on seagrass for their food source.
The major impacts on seagrass in the Great Barrier Reef include:
• Poor water quality from catchment runoff
• Habitat loss from increasing coastal development
• Expansion in ports and shipping
• Increased intensity of storms, floods and cyclones
• Sea surface temperature and sea level rise.
Spear grass, drafting film, posca pens and plastic
142 x 239 x 82cm
Babicci’s artistic practice is multidisciplinary; including video, performance, sculpture and ceramics. Completing a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours) at the Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney, in 2013, Babicci’s research and studio work has concerned human interaction with the natural environment and society’s shifting role in the anthropocene. The works delve into the unseen connections found throughout the natural world, finding synergy in the human and collective consciousness.
Babicci approaches her work with a keen interest in materials as a visual language to explore contemporary environmental issues and the world we find around us.
Mycelium and organic matter
This work investigates the use of organic sculptural mycelium material grown in moulds. Through exploring the disparity between the man-made and natural, this work seeks to find unseen connections; mimicking the natural growth of fungi where underground hidden networks of mycelium threads lie dormant until the right conditions arise when the fruiting body emerges – drawing parallels with the human spirit and our resilience.
I Hear Your Dreams
Mycelium grown in natural organic material, plant based compostable clear wrap, lights, wire
Unseen connections are all around us – gravity, sound waves, all sorts of energy vibrations.
This work highlights the communication systems between trees through underground mycelium networks. A cooperative relationship exists through fungi and trees, where delicate fibres can ‘listen’ in on what the tree has to say and transmit signals from one tree to another. This “wood wide web” helps trees to exchange warnings of insects and other dangers and it can help ward off intruders like bacteria or destructive fungi. The mycelium can also act as a redistribution system exchanging nutrients and water more evenly throughout groups of trees.
This installation investigates organic materials and mycelium through sculptural and site-specific practice. Through exploring the disparity between man-made and natural, this work seeks to find unseen connections and celebrate natural harmony. An ‘ear to the ground’ might prove we are actually living in a much more interesting world.
Carolyn engages communities and viewers through art installations and residencies, visually linking the relationship between humans, consumerism and waste.
She is an Al Gore Climate Reality Leader.
Residencies: NSW, Victoria, US, Spain, Italy, Portugal
Art Festivals: 2020 collaborative video works Green Screen projection, West Projection & RETHINK, Bastille Day and LSF
Curator: 2019 Bleached for ClimArte, Planet or Plastic for the National Geographic
Solo exhibitions: 2018 PlasticTide 2018, 2017 Microbeplastica & Organic Plastic
Art Prizes: 2019 Yering, North Sydney; 2018 Acheron Sculpture, 2017 Burrinja, Greenway, 2016 Lorne Biennale, Castlemaine, 2015 Scenic World, North Sydney, Yering Station, 2014 Noos
Polyisobutylene, tread, polyester
200 x 100cm
Vampire jellyfish, when disturbed, turn their webbed tentacles over their bodies creating a ribbed black cape effect as created for Bloom.
The effect of Climate Change and the warming of the planet is leading to a proliferation of jellyfish across oceans. Jellyfish thrive in warmer waters with less oxygen and are not vulnerable to increasing acidity or salinity of the world’s ecosystems and oceans.
The material chosen for this artwork is butyl, a synthetic rubber, currently used to manufacture bicycle inner tubes (less elastic than natural rubber). On my walks I became interested in this material as I gleaned discarded bikes tubes from the ground. Often punctured inner tubes are disposed of instead of repaired becoming instant waste, a current problem in our throwaway society of convenience.
Inner tubes have 2 material components: Polyisobutylene (synthetic rubber) and a metal valve making it harder to recycle.
Living in the wet tropics of Far North Queensland since 1990 has helped etch a love of the natural world into my psyche. I explore themes around the environment and personal awakening and like to create pieces that inform and stimulate conversations and ignite the imagination.
Recurring themes include my own personal journey of self-discovery, and, as a self-declared ‘pollution picker-upper’ – I explore our impact as a society on the natural world using various mediums including found cultural objects. I work in a multitude of media including painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, installation and photography.
Kinetic Sculpture: bamboo, discarded plastic bottles, wire
8 segments 1.5m x 1m x 50cm
Shifting Seas is a kinetic sculpture that merges the ethereal beauty of the play of light and sound, with the oppressive accumulation of pollution in our environment.
The piece symbolises our myopic view of the consequences of consumerism and addiction to disposable products – the duality of our connected yet disconnected relationship with plastic. Blind to the hundreds of hours that go into the concept, design and production of a single use item, we become briefly aware of that item on a superficial level for its function, before it is discarded and once again lost to sight in landfill or waterways.
Deliberately suspended within the canopy, with its tranquil yet unsettling soundscapes and refracted light, Shifting Seas embodies how plastic pollution is often on the periphery of our awareness, just out of sight or reach but part of the paths we walk every day.
Jill Chism is a professional, highly regarded North Queensland artist with an extensive CV. Working between various art forms including environmental art, installation, sculpture, digital art and public art, her work spans diverse materials and processes, from photography to sculptural processes.
Jill’s personal experiences have led to an appreciation for the great mystery of life, the preciousness of the present moment and the understanding that we are just a small expression of a greater consciousness. Her work and thematic enquiry revolves around questions about who we are, how we interact with each other and our relationship to the natural environment and the cosmos.
Creating artworks at the water’s edge has been a constant theme in Jill’s public art and environmental art practice and she is currently curator of ‘Call of the Running Tide’.
Can’t See the Trees for the Wood #1
Sticks, recycled wood and building materials
The work asks the question about the collective and individual choices we make and their consequences. What do we value? The trees or the wood? Are we happy to sacrifice the biodiversity of the forest for new development? Are we sensitive to what needs to remain while still meeting the needs of a growing local and global populations?
The Far North still has bountiful biodiversity but I feel we are at a local and global tipping point: with the need to balance preservation and protection of these habitats with the increasing demand created by ‘development’ and ‘progress’. There is always a danger of hurried and insensitive decisions. On top of the demand on the environment by increasing populations is the evident threat of climate change experienced recently in Australia in the bushfires.
For conservation reasons, the work is created entirely from recycled wood and sticks found on my bush property.
The sticks and house are created in the same rectangular form to reflect the built environment. They are at human height asking us to explore the sticks and the wood: their value and relationship to us, on a ‘one to one’ basis.
Do you see the trees or the wood?
Preserve Conserve* – Invocation#4: Acceptance, Going slow
Salt print using PVC pipe
The work evolves from observing threatened marine creatures, dugongs, turtles, dolphins and whales whose habitats along North Eastern Australia are threatened by increased human populations/activities and by-products. Currently we are also threatened during COVID by the ramifications for our tourist communities. We have had to ‘slow down’ and be more ‘accepting’ of the myriad social changes experienced within Australia. The marine animals embody the characteristics above. The words ‘Going with the Flow’ and ‘Openness’ are particularly pertinent during frustrations caused by border restrictions, social isolation and restriction of recreational activities including visits to natural habitats. Everything remains on alert as we observe the spread of new strains of the COVID virus internationally. The work asks us to observe what nature can teach us.
*Preserve Conserve: Invocation #4: Acceptance, Going Slow continues on from work I have created previously using PVC pipe and salt. In the earlier work I responded to the disappearing marine life from Cairns to Mackay as documented in letters to the then Minister for the Environment. The work is like a mandala, which is an invocation for a change of perception, but it is also ephemeral and impermanent, waiting for the next gust of wind to blow it away.
Andrea Collisson graduated from Sydney College of the Arts in 1997. She has practiced in several mediums prior to turning to sculpture in 2019, showing in the inaugural Call of the Running Tide in Port Douglas. She was a finalist in Strand Ephemera 2021.
‘My art practice is motivated by the following concerns: Every day of the North Queensland wet season when the south easterly eases, all manner of garbage washes onto our beaches. Those of us who clean the beaches can observe there is no end in sight to the annual dumping. Globally, plastics production increases while recycling has largely failed. Plastics production is a major contributor to global warming. Marine debris of all types contributes to increasing biodiversity losses across the planet.’
Steel, used galvanised tube, remnant fishing line, thongs and shoes/marine debris and fishing line
6m x 3m x 20cm
The wall contains 3860 thongs and some shoes collected mostly from seven beaches; Pretty Beach, Oak Beach, Yule Point, North Wonga, Cape Bedford, Chili Beach, and Mapoon in the gulf. I have collected 80% of the footwear in the wall. The shoes were washed up in one year period following cleaning in the previous year. The 20% contribution came from the beach clean-up organisation, Parley Australia. With this in mind, try to imagine this wall as a fragment of a bigger wall of mostly thongs being washed up along the coast of Far Northern Australia each year. With approximately 100 beaches to the tip of Cape York, and that my collection represents 80% of this wall: I have calculated that this wall represents about 10% of an imaginary thong wall from thongs and footwear washed up along this coastline in a single year.
Remnant fishing line, contact cement, fishing net and thongs/marine debris.
9m x 3m
Thongs are made mostly from natural rubber, synthetic rubber and polyurethane. Decomposition times vary from 80 years for natural rubber to several hundred years for the plastic variety. Over the last few years I’ve amassed a pile of thongs and footwear from my beach clean-ups. Organised and casual beach clean-ups may contribute to reducing the publics’ awareness of the problem. People can remain unaware of the amount of marine debris impacting the Australian marine environment. It also remains deeply concerning to consider the accumulation of thongs over many years on either beaches or in landfills. What doesn’t end up in the ocean, goes to landfill which becomes toxic over time. In Australia we have hidden our plastic waste from view but it is still a huge problem. It is unarguable that our rate of consumption including thongs, is unsustainable.
Melted plastic lids/ marine debris on plywood.
2.4m x 1.2m
While critiquing modern lifestyles, my practice explores aesthetic solutions to plastic marine debris by using it as an art material.
Global recycling is low compared to plastics production, which increases yearly. Recycling and upcycling are necessary to manage burgeoning landfills, but this is unsustainable.
I’m interested in stimulating thought about how we lived before we became dependent on plastic and whether we could find new ways to live with less of it. Would we have to revert to glass milk bottles and aluminium foil lids, or are there other lifestyle options? Is planned obsolescence of domestic goods sustainable and what can we do to change this?
Aesthetically, I’m interested in ugly beauty. The materials are often ugly and worthless and yet they can be manipulated into desirable, beautiful and even valuable works of art.
My work is drawn from the traditions of weaving, fibreart and sculpture. It is influenced by the natural world around me, the seasons and environment from the area where I live in Douglas Shire.
I collect materials from the beach and local vicinity and incorporate these found objects into my work and explore the use of marine debris (particularly washed up beach-rope) to highlight the complexities and impact of current environmental issues on ocean, marine and coastal ecosystems.
Materials: 630 used and washed surgical masks (multiple plastics) reconstructed, coiled and stitched with threads and strands of beach-rope
Installation: 3m x 2.2m x 11cm
Masked explores the complexities and challenges associated with masks and Covid-19. Masks protect us from transmitting and acquiring the virus, saving many lives.
However, there is a paradox. While protecting us, masks limit communication, make breathing difficult and create environmental challenges as millions of discarded masks go to landfill, are incinerated and enter waterways and the ocean, posing wildlife threats.
These forms, based on the masks and sea creatures such as anemones, invite you to reflect on these issues.
Thanks to the ten people who have contributed to Masked; Colleagues (Contact Tracers from the Victorian Health Department, Melbourne Sexual Health Centre nurses), friends and neighbours. Pam who laboriously cut each mask and sewed them end to end.
Found beachrope and driftwood, coiled and stitched with strands of beach rope.
490mm long x 760mm wide x 190mm high
Mutant Ray is created from disentangled strands of washed up beach rope coiled and stitched onto found driftwood. I followed the natural contours of the wood with the fibres creating a distorted, ambiguous form that may resemble the ray of the future – distorted by the impact of marine waste on evolution and survival.
Mutant from the Deep
Found, washed up polypropylene and nylon mooring rope and driftwood, coiled and stitched with strands of the same fibre
330mm long x 300mm wide x 300mm high
I have long been fascinated by sea life forms that have evolved to survive the significant pressures, darkness and reduced food sources of the ocean’s deep extremities. This ‘creature’ is an exploration of the possibilities created by changed global environments associated with global warming and accumulated human waste. How will evolution progress through these rapidly escalating challenges?
I have lived and worked from my studio in Port Douglas since 1995.
Although I have worked in different art fields during my career, my passion has been printmaking, specializing in reduction lino printing.
I have been exhibiting my fine art lino prints in galleries around Australia for the last 35 years. I have been involved in many local, national and international art exhibitions, as well other art related projects.
My stall at the Port Douglas Markets has also been a significant way of sharing my artwork with others.
The Collective Hive
Cardboard, found natural objects, one golf ball, plywood backing, paint, glue 180cm x 120cm
The hexagon is a dynamic shape in nature – from water crystals, insects’ eyes, patterns on a snakeskin – to one of the most recognizable hexagonal structures, the beehive.
The Collective Hive explores the significance of the wonderous bee in nature, its’ importance for human survival through pollination and its symbiotic relationship with flowers.
The collection is from my garden and travels where I observe the beauty in found natural objects. I invite you to look closely at the beauty of the small things held within each hexagon. Golf balls pop up in my garden like puff balls – look closely and you’ll see they are also made up of hexagonal patterns!
The work explores our connectedness and disconnectedness from each other as a human species and from nature. For me, on a metaphysical level, it explores the eroding of the ‘matrix’; From the dense construct of the mind and who we think we are, to its dissolution and the freedom towards a lighter sense of being.
The work is a nod to my mother’s love of the botanical world.
Aly De Groot
Multidisciplinary fibre artist Aly de Groot celebrates the unique fauna and flora of Northern Australia. Long fascinated by the beautiful but dangerous box jellyfish, Aly combines this obsession with her other passions for marine conservation and basketry to create ethereal jellyfish art-forms hand-woven from salvaged fishing line and sari silk, recycled t-shirts and bailing twine saved from becoming landfill or marine debris.
Wish Upon a Jellyfish
Hand-woven from salvaged fishing line and sari silk, recycled t-shirts and bailing twine
Did you know that the collective noun for jellyfish is a smack? You may be surprised to find them dangling from trees in Rex Smeal Park, far removed from their natural marine habitat.
Yet, this ‘smack attack’ is less absurd than it sounds. Jellyfish are the ultimate survivors, and many species are thriving globally because of climate related mechanisms at work, providing perfect conditions for them to go forth and multiply on mass.
Scientists have been getting their tentacles in a twist with recent studies finding the humble jellyfish may provide solutions towards plastic pollution in the sea, nutrition and medicine.
My sculptural practice pursues the re-purposing of found objects. This has been a constant in my work, bringing attention to what we discard as rubbish, changing the useless to the meaningful, making small comments on our consumer world.
Techniques I use are often unconventional and are always evolving. Combining the organic and manmade I blend, stitch, weave and wrap as a signature approach within my art practice.
Much of my inspiration comes from the natural world and the immense variety and beauty of our Australian landscape.
Forest Floor Prayer Flags
Pressed forest floor organic matter with fabric and textiles
Variable sizes; approximately 40 x 60cm
Litany of leaves
Layer upon layer
A cool carpet
Deep and deeper
Beneath a canopy of green
Impermanence of change
Humming with joy
Holding soils tight
Custody of the concealed
Our natural world
Just let it be
Barbara Dover’s contemporary art practice draws on a range of materials, processes and media including video, assemblage and installation in the consideration of our troubling interactions with nature. The context of her current body of work is the threatened ecology of the oceans, which includes the increasing recognition of the impact of climate change, rising sea levels, coastal development, overﬁshing, ocean pollution and, speciﬁcally, the devastation of plastic debris pollution.
Found plastic disposable lighters
8 x 150 x 150cm
Adrift refers to the empirical evidence about the growth and ever-increasing threat of plastic pollution to marine life and all ecosystems on our planet. Research shows that countries around the world are struggling to cope with ever-increasing plastic waste. Plastic waste production is outpacing our ability to manage it. Research has found that even with ambitious globally coordinated efforts, plastic emissions into rivers, lakes and oceans could be as high as 53 million tonnes in 2030.
Found marine plastic hard hats, found wire fish trap, led lights
40 x 85 x 85cm
Illuminate evokes shining a light on plastic pollution which is a burgeoning threat to the sustainability of marine life. Countries around the world are struggling to manage current volumes of plastic waste as plastic debris pollutes deep ocean basins, marine and freshwater ecosystems, while at the same time, new plastic production is being accelerated by investment in petrochemical industries.
Found marine plastic debris
80 x 80 x 80cm
Marine bomb, constructed with found debris collected along the Queensland coast, alludes to depth charges or bombs, which were dropped into the oceans to destroy submarines and ships during WW2. The work implies a threat to marine creatures and their habitat by this plastic human-constructed device floating underwater, ready to detonate at any moment.
Found marine debris, plastic packaging tags, wire
20 x 55 x 55cm
In Memoriam is a response to the 2020 research by CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, which found that millions of tonnes of plastic enter the marine environment annually, and “quantities are expected to increase in coming years, despite increased attention on the detrimental impacts of plastic pollution on marine ecosystems, wildlife and human health …The amount of microplastics recorded was 25 times higher than previous deep-sea studies”.
Primarily a portrait painter, my focus has been on the human form and themes of perception and projection, but since relocating to Queensland in 2016 this focus has shifted to exploring the environment and my place within it.
The 2019 Call of the Running Tide Festival introduced me to environmental art and prompted me to broaden my exploration of this theme through new mediums and ways of working, redefining the way my work engages with space.
My current work takes the form of origami – a craft that embodies both the idea as well as the actual process of transformation.
Printed recycled paper and origami
120 x 240cm
We are witnessing the transformation and demise of insect populations worldwide.
Caught in states of transition, this origami insect series exhibits local examples of the species considered most significantly at risk globally – bees, butterflies and beetles.
As the specimens descend and de-form, they reveal insights into the nature and possible cause of this potentially catastrophic decline.
Simply a part of the natural cycle of things? Or a symptom of systemic and sustained human impact.
Marion Gaemers and Lynette Griffiths
Marion and Lynnette have known each other since the early 1990’s when they were instrumental in providing Flying Arts workshops in the Torres Strait. They both cite the importance of collaborative practice in the creation of rich meaningful content and in 2020 they formed The Ghost Net Collective.
Growing up along the coast they are invested in the environmental issues of the region. Through the ghost net art movement, they have strengthened their practice and together they have exhibited in Singapore, Monaco, Switzerland and London with other artists. Together they have been selected in multiple outdoor sculpture exhibitions including Sculpture by the Sea, Strand Ephemera, Esplanart and Sculpture Botanica.
They exhibited in Call of the Running Tide in 2019.
Estuarine Still Life
Assorted recovered environmental rubbish: shopping trolleys, ghost net, rope
Our world is consumed by the idea of filling the shopping trolley/cart. From the supermarket and supersized warehouse style stores to online shopping we are encouraged to buy products that will ultimately become problematic for the environment. Abandoned shopping trolleys recovered from urban creeks, in Cairns and Townsville become a symbol of excess and waste. Waste rope and net (ghost net) discarded in our oceans has been fashioned and stitched with a female sensibility to create the fragile environment along the shoreline. Human litter is dumped and the tides and wind often push it into this environment. This rubbish is harmful to the animals that breed and feed here. Our environment is being sold-out.
This work of entangled fauna, flora and abandoned shopping trolleys is a collective response to a boat trip up Dickson Inlet.
Ghost net and rope
160 x 50 x 50cm
A ghostly silent killer: Discarded fishing net, rope and gear continues to wash and move with the tidal flow, largely going unnoticed in our sea. Originally created for fishing using various plastic materials, ghost nets far out-live their purpose.
Fish are caught in the nets. Coral is affected by plastic covering the surface and coastal vegetation is strangled by shoreline plastic. People are creating, disposing and now collecting the plastic.
We have created an aquarium from this deadly plastic fabric.
Ours is a visually inscribed language, stitched and layered. It is an evolving story that could be viewed as devastating or, through human intervention, offer positive outcomes.
Materials were collected from beaches in north Queensland by Tangarora Blue, Australian Navy and us.
Garden of Plastic
GARDEN OF PLASTIC
Recycled collected bottle caps from Mossman Rotary Club, ply board, and non-toxic PVA Glue
The creation of this work was stimulated by funding from and collections of bottle caps through the Mossman Rotary Club.
Commencing with Interested students from Port Douglas Primary School and teacher Robyn O’Connell, later works were created at Mossman Shire Hall during the 10 days of the Call of the Running Tide festival. The children were encouraged through Robyn and artist-tutors, Wendy Wajer and Victoria Park, to create works based on patterns, colour relationships and texture.
Selected works from both of these events are the basis of a mural at the new Paws and Claws facility at Craiglie.
Mirrawinni Gaze and Margie Welham
We have been long-time friends, women of nature and now grandmothers. Margie from Daintree, is an inspiration to all with her commitment to protecting our planet and Mirrawinni is a woman of the sun and country. Together we have experimented creating beauty from nature. We both have been blessed with friendships and knowledge shared from Traditional Owners. Now we share our passions of protecting nature in creative, fun ways. Sharing in School projects, workshops and Markets.
We acknowledge our family and friends who have encouraged and helped in The Sails of Freedom’ project.
The Sails of Freedom – Bubu Ngulkurr Ba (Healing Country)
Woven coconut palms and flowers, banana bark, rainforest vines, found objects and acrylic paint
This contemporary woven work represents hope, joy, simplicity and healing for our future. Together in BUBU NGULKURR_BA Healing Country we can turn the ‘Tides of Destruction’ into ‘Reconstruction’. Our hearts are crying for our Galilee Basin and Great Barrier Reef as it is so important to protect our Sacred Waters and Sacred places.
So we are saying let us work together to create a beautiful reality for our future. We can work Miracles for our Great Barrier Reef and Sacred Waters.
The Sails of Freedom hangs delicately like nature itself swaying in the breeze with a message of hope to protect our sacred waters and oceans for future generations: BUBU NGULKURR_BA. Heal Country.
Robyn Glade-Wright is an arts educator at James Cook University and has presented over 40 solo exhibitions in public and private galleries. Her works of art call attention to the role humans have played in climate change, environmental pollution and species loss.
Glade-Wright’s works of art seek novel ways to communicate facts established in the sciences in a compelling manner that involves our imagination, emotions, and intellect.
Her work may help us address the complex environmental challenges we face, transform the way we live and form a sustainable relationship with our planet.
Plastic waste washed up FNQ beaches, bamboo, nylon, paint, mirror 260 x 108 x 108cm
Crude oil that takes millions of years to form in the ground can be shipped to refineries and made into items such as plastic cutlery and bottles in a few weeks.
Despite plastic’s durability, around 50% of plastic is used only once before it is discarded. Petro-chemical plastics are virtually indestructible. They don’t decompose, and instead, over 500 to 1000 years they break up into smaller and smaller pieces.
It is remarkable that it takes millions of years for oil to form, and yet in a few short weeks, it can be made into plastic items, which might be used once and thrown away. Then as waste, the plastic pollutes the land, air and sea for the next 1000 years entering the land, air and sea.
Plastic pollutants in the food chain can cause harm such as cell death, and alter gene expression, impacting our DNA.
And No Eggs Hatched
Resin and plastic waste
Various sizes 6 x 6 x 3 cm and 3 x 2 x 2 cm
Sadly, scientists predicted fifty years ago that it was unlikely that any marine birds would remain uncontaminated by synthetic pollutants. Today 90% of marine bird species have ingested plastic and 95% of the individuals within these species have been affected. And No Eggs Hatched presents a visual representation of birds’ eggs that are not viable. It suggests the tragic idea that bird species will be lost forever.
Catherine Hunter (Kate) is a contemporary jewellery maker and studio artist working with metals using traditional metalsmithing techniques, incorporating natural fibres, porcelain, found objects and discarded plastics, in her studio on the edge of a mangrove estuary in Cairns, Queensland.
Born in Coffs Harbour, Kate graduated with a Bachelor of Design: Jewellery and Metalsmithing from the SA College of Advanced Education in 1984 with distinctions.
Kate is also an accomplished seafarer. Her time at sea, 1989 to 2007, piqued her awareness of global environmental challenges. Kate’s work draws the viewer into detailed visual narratives of nature’s struggles and triumphs.
Repurposed hula hoop, beach plastics, cotton string, plastic flower parts, florist wire, electrical cord, little shop items, concrete, driftwood and single use plastics
Irresponsibly Sourced speaks of my concern with the homogenised, convenient, normalisation of manufactured items that have a negative environmental impact that we use in everyday life. Easily discarded. Whose responsibility is this: manufacturers, users and the easy acceptance we all seem to have of waste?
Irresponsibly Sourced is an art therapy of sorts, helping me work through my emotions about our impact on planet Earth.
A two-day beach clean of Noah’s Beach, Daintree National Park in June 2021 illustrated to me that we have so much work to do to reduce our collective impact on the earth.
The work is a combination of a dreamcatcher, for my environmental nightmares, a wreath in memoriam of what is already lost, and a nest asking what we are nurturing for the future. I hope to promote understanding of the fragility of life on Earth.
Working from my studio in Port Douglas, Queensland, I create works that are stimulated by both the natural environment as well as the endless visions of my imagination. I think of my works as visual dreams, surreal and concerned with capturing a moment of happiness and well-being.
When the opportunity presents itself such as The Call of The Running Tide I enjoy creating 3D works with found and collected materials. My work is represented in private homes, around the world and in many publications. I exhibit at selected galleries around Australia.
Coconut husk, recycled umbrellas, recycled bike inner-tube,
unfired clay, collected dog hair, discarded foam mattress
Flying-foxes/bats contribute to the ecosystem’s health by suppressing pest insects, pollinating plants and spreading seeds. However, in the tropics concerns are created as man intrudes into environments that are inhabited by bats. Bats can carry disease, are noisy and are very messy neighbours.
When creating this work, I chose materials that are symbolic of life in the tropics like the ubiquitous wet season umbrella, coconut husks collected on Four Mile Beach and a discarded grey nomad’s mattress. As few residents want bats as neighbours unwanted materials certainly found a place in the making of this work including groomer’s dog hair and discarded bicycle inner tubes.
This work celebrates the importance of the bat in our environment and is created to draw attention to the need to allocate areas for their protection. Migrating bats need to be accommodated into future and existing urban and rural planning.
Alison McDonald’s 20 year practice is based in Townsville. She creates artworks that explore and inspire social change by combining her passions of environment and recycling. The chosen media ranges from in size from epic sculpture to microscopic jewellery.
Her work is shown in national and international group and solo exhibitions, including Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, 6 Strand Ephemera’s which she was winner in 2015. Her artwork is in collections of Royal North Shore Hospital, Visy Education Centre, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville City Council’s-Integrated Sustainability, Catholic Education, Central Qld University, Rockfield Technologies, Energy Super, Monterey Bay Aquarium, California and Stadiums Queensland.
Up-cycled plastic lids & cable ties
12 x 7m
Flow is an enormous and versatile artwork that began in Townsville where I live and has been created from approximately fifty thousand recycled plastic lids that I collected over a three year period from Melbourne to Townsville. This intervention of up-cycled plastic lids that flows like a comforting blanket over whatever it rests upon yet smothers all underneath and is reminiscent of what our waterways could look like if production of single-use plastics is continued at the same rate within our consumerist society.
Flow has a blog of its own about its creation, how it has evolved and those that have helped to create it and where it has travelled to at: www.alisonmcdonald.com.au/category/flow-blog/
Elke Nagy is a visual artist and writer of fiction and non-fiction, with an academic background in science, philosophy and law.
When not busy creating, she loves to practice yoga and meditation, swim in the lakes and walk through the forests of FNQ.
Together We Could
Paper clay, ochres, watercolour, forest vines and found objects
60 x 60cm
The work consists of an egg of clay and ochre, cradled in a nest, woven from forest vines, interspersed with man-made objects. Strewn in and around the nest are broken egg pieces, resulting from the emergence of living and extinct species.
The egg represents the future and unrealised potential. The nest represents nature and its vital, nurturing role. However, with the advent of global warming, the nest is becoming charred and the forests are increasingly at risk of fire.
To ensure the survival of all, nature needs our help.
It needs that help now.
I commenced my formal artistic journey in Whanganui, NZ completing a Diploma in Hot Glass and Design. I have continued to study different mediums and since moving to Kewarra Beach 4 years ago I have studied Ceramics at Cairns TAFE.
Clay is a wonderful medium to work with, as it is after all just mud. I love this connection with nature since my work is heavily inspired by the environment in which I live.
I enjoy making pieces that evoke an emotional response, therefore making a connection with people and expressing myself through my work.
Ceramic, glass and found objects
2m x 60cm x 30cm
These pieces offer glimpses of micro-environments on beaches from Wonga to Mission beach. On looking closely, I find each beach reveals quite different elements affected by tides, wind and near populations.
Being aware of my surroundings is the key to my work, because when I stop moving, I see varieties of shapes, textures, patterns and colours. By standing still, movement starts to happen and I get insights into the microcosms of life at the beach.
When I create, I am looking to incorporate everything I have observed including a sense of movement. In each arrangement I have used found objects alongside pieces I have either created to replicate an object or as an emotional response to the environment.
Some pieces have been obviously created by me. Others require further investigation to determine what is real and what is replicated.
With this body of work, I am inviting the viewer to stand still and look closer.
Originally from London, Victoria now lives in the Daintree rainforest. She experiments in the practices of sculpture and mixed media, often using found objects as the basis of her artwork.
Each piece she creates is influenced by the simplicity and beauty of everyday objects, as well as the energetics of the surrounding natural or urban environment. Victoria enjoys challenging the ‘norm’ and constantly striving to find unique ways to express herself.
Alien Landscape – Maquette
Marine debris: Coiled and stitched rope, ghost net, fishing line
provided thanks to Tangaroa Blue Marine Debris Initiative plus artist’s collection from Wonga beach
Alien Landscape – Invasion
Marine debris: Coiled and stitched rope, ghost net, fishing line
Provided thanks to Tangaroa Blue marine debris initiative plus artist collection from Wonga beach
Alien Landscape – Plasticus pollutio (var. marinus)
Marine debris: Coiled and stitched rope, ghost net, fishing line
Provided thanks to Tangaroa Blue marine debris initiative plus artist collection from Wonga beach
A tsunami of plastic dumped ashore
Washed-up, discarded, of use no more
An alien landscape of marine debris
Is this the future? Of what will be?
Nylon barnacles, polypropylene weed
Mangroves snorkelling ‘midst a polymer sea
No differentiation between plastic and tree
The tide is turning…against humanity
Danielle Piat lives and works in Port Douglas, Queensland.
Sculpture has always been Danielle Piat’s chosen medium. Although a highly skilled artist in various mediums such as drawing, painting, sgraffito – sculpture prevails, as the foremost medium for emotional expression.
In creating her dramatic, idiosyncratic works, Danielle draws on a selection of materials.
Key themes across her practice include feminine and animal-oriented subjects, and the human form.
There is a clear overriding philosophy that all living creatures are intertwined on this Earth, and the visual symbolism of how each are affected by the other is a significant focus in her work.
Clothing Tags with Australian based ocean maps and marine animals collaged onto a repurposed mannequin
The battle against ocean plastic often focuses on bigger plastic items but more recent research has identified nano plastics – ‘invisible to the naked eye’ that have become a significant global issue. Nano plastics are now in most water sources and are inside the digestive tracts of marine life and in humans.
This sculpture explores the global problem of nano plastics by repurposing a mannequin – she is covered in ocean maps and wears a synthetic fibre dress to highlight the connection between what we wear, oceans and sea life. Most clothing contains synthetic fibres such as polyester and nylon. With the increase in so-called ‘fast’ clothing, which is cheap and disposable, we are adding to clothing associated waste.
Furthermore every time we wash an item of synthetic clothing microfibres are released (around 700,000 microfibres measuring 5mm or less). They go through wastewater treatment plants and are pumped directly into waterways.
So what can we do to help?
Buy natural fabrics. Buy second-hand clothing and reduce fast clothing purchases. Investigate options for reducing microfiber waste.
Rose Rigley is an educator, collaborator, ruminator, and collector of memories. Utilising a range of media, including installation and sculptural assemblage, she seeks to find beauty in the ordinary and to gain a deeper understanding of the universal “unknown”.
Natures Return 1
Sculptural assemblage: recycled wood, encaustic, book pages, grass seeds, grass stems, thread, acrylic
94 x 16 x 19 cm each
Return to me. I miss you and I do not want to be without you. Even though I like the order, I feel your absence in the cleanness that surrounds me. Without you, my world is stripped bare of colour, and I am filled with anxiety.
Natures Return 11
Sculptural assemblage: recycled wood, encaustic, plants, dirt
106 x 46 x 44cm each
I miss you, please come back. I do not want to be alone. Even though I like the quiet, I feel your absence in the silence that surrounds me. Without you, my world is stripped bare of comfort, and I am filled with uncertainty.
Klara Royster is a young emerging FNQ artist who creates in a colourful neo-pop cartoon style with the aim of engaging the viewer and making them laugh. She portrays humorous commentary on important contemporary cultural and environmental issues.
Klara has won multiple art awards including Queensland Government Creative Generation Excellence Award in Visual Art 2013, which led her work being shown in Queensland Gallery of Modern Art in early 2014. Klara has recently completed a five-year degree in Veterinary Science and is now excited to balance her scientific degree with her creative art practices.
What Do You Hold Dear?
Pen and acrylic on paper
120 x 207.5cm
What Do You Hold Dear? is an appreciation of the unbelievable variety and beauty of native fruits and seeds in our local area.
The cradling hands represent those of us who care for the environment. The many hands are a symbol of commitment to our local environment and future. What do you hold dear? Because the future is in our hands.
What Do You Appreciate Here?
What Do You Appreciate Here? is a short film depicting the flourishing and receding of local edible native fruits, berries and nuts. They are a small symbol of the greater importance and uniqueness of our local rainforest. The film aims to help the audience recognise, admire and appreciate the amazing environment in which we live.
Gabrielle (Gabi) Sturman is an established 3D artist who has been working in her field for over 25 years, regularly exhibiting in solo and in group national and local exhibitions.
Gabi obtained her Bachelor of Arts (Ceramic Design) with 1st class honours from Monash University in 1996. She was awarded an APA scholarship for a Master of Arts, which she completed in 2002.
Since moving to the Atherton Tablelands from Melbourne in 2007, Gabi’s work has been inspired by the amazing biodiversity of our Wet Tropics rainforests, to create visual narratives about the complicated relationships between nature and humanity. www.gabi.com.au Instagram: gabisturman
Branches, video tape, cassette tape, bicycle wheel, red wax
4 x 1.5m
Music cassettes and video tapes are encoded with sound and image, universal languages that all we share.
The technology to access the visual and musical languages on these tapes may be obsolete as we move to more clever technologies, but are we becoming increasingly tone deaf to the rhythm of the natural world?
Sway is about the poetry of life.
Of how we are all interconnected with culture, music, image, nature.
Nature’s inspiration drives my creative processes.
Natural elements coming together . . . . . the wind, the earth, fire and water.
For me, clay encompasses all these elements into one, grounding and connecting me to the physical world around me.
I believe nature holds the solutions we are searching for, through bioremediation, food and medicine.
We must be still, open and embrace the natural world, as we are part of the matrix, the collective.
Local clay, copper and Perspex
4 panels 32.5 x 91.8cm
Every mushroom, interconnected . . . . . the forest is speaking, sharing, exchanging, communicating.
The copper mycelium represents the hidden network . . . . . the “Wood Wide Web” . . . . . nature’s internet, now visible.
I have made the unseen, seen . . . . . clear insight.
Exposed the world beneath the feet, and in the trees and the soil. A world that vibrates with potential and possibilities. A world of nature’s intelligence and of biological solutions.
The mushrooms are merely the fruiting bodies of the mycelial network below and within.
Engaging with mycelium can help save the world.
Paul Stamets – Mycologist
I live and work in the Douglas Shire.
Painting, drawing, mixed media and assemblage sculpture give me great joy. I have learnt that I love working with natural fibers found in our local environment, particularly the bark of the coconut palm and dead leaves. They have become my preferred materials and I will continue to work with them.
I am looking forward to pursuing these activities on a full-time basis and create those commissions I have promised!
It was an honour to participate in the first Call of the Running Tide exhibition in 2019, under the guidance of, Jill Chism the curator. This exhibition gives artists and emerging artists the opportunity to engage in art that is about our environment, and in turn, gives the public the chance to consider the value of our unique and fragile home. I am so happy to be part of CRT 2021.
Guardians of our Shores
Coconut palm bark, dead leaves, palm pieces, hessian, timber, cotton, marine rope, screws, staples, paint, glue
Each eye .5 – 2m
As I explored the Flagstaff Hill walk in Port Douglas, I saw ‘eyes’ in dead pandanus palm leaves. I imagined eyes from the top of the hill, overlooking the shoreline and out to the ocean. I created pairs of eyes and thoughtfully placed them on the upper side of Flagstaff Hill. They represent the flora, fauna and mother earth as they guard, observe, experience, inhabit, and protect our shoreline. I felt it was important that I work with as much natural material as possible to respect the environment. Some eyes appear as though they are representing the plant life; others represent our local animals and birds.
I hope my art invokes contemplative thought, love and respect for what lives here in our beautiful environment.
Gabrielle showed her artistic talents from a young age in crafting pottery and paintings that live on in the family household.
She utilises a range of mediums from ceramics and jewellery making to realistic fine art portraits, exploring themes such as nature, love, sin, religion and sex. She is not afraid to combine traditional crafts with contemporary approaches to art making.
Gabrielle is currently focused on ceramics and painting, getting her hands dirty to create organic reflections of the world around her. Selling in several galleries, her ceramics are capturing the interest of those who wish to step out beyond the ‘usual’ with her beautiful ceramic pieces.
Xylocarpus mollenises collection Ceramic clay, glaze and oxide
21 x 22cm
Mangroves are often referred to as the lungs of the planet. The Cannonball mangroves fascinate me with their wonderful large seeds hanging over the waterways of North Queensland.
These five works are inspired by the seed pods of the Cannonball mangroves around the Port Douglas / Cairns area. My works play off their smooth pods and rough colourful surfaces with playful animal characteristics. I have drawn from the colours of the trees, waterways and sunsets mixed with textured ochres and musty powders. Each pod inspires different moods and seasons.
Susan Bishop is a Cairns-based artist with an interest in raising public awareness through her art. Good art makes people think and can change the way we act. Susan is concerned that environmental art may be ‘preaching to the converted’ and aims to find a way to reach a wider audience. After depicting coral bleaching by erasure, through a difficult process of painting with lime, Susan became concerned that she was creating even more environmental waste. Digital media has allowed Susan to ‘paint’ without impacting the environment and to make an important environmental message more easily accessible.
Not in Danger?
2021 Digital Painting
Not in Danger are digital paintings that contemplate the recent decision by the ‘21-country World Heritage Committee’ not to place the Great Barrier Reef on the ‘in danger’ list. This is despite a scientific assessment by the United Nations Science and Culture Organisation saying it is clearly in danger from climate change.
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority agrees that climate change is its greatest threat and, without national and global action, it won’t be ‘Great’ for much longer. With mass coral bleaching caused by unusually warm sea surface temperatures events in 1998, 2002, 2006, 2016, 2017 and 2020, it is evident that the Great Barrier Reef is in danger. Australia has until February 2022 to produce a report on the status of the reef to the World Heritage Committee.
Tim Ellis is a painter and digital artist, living in Shannonvale, Far North Queensland. Following a career as an art director in the UK film and television industry Tim transposes the experience into his current art practice. While his style is cinematic in composition, he creates intimate images telling stories of the communities around him.
Video: 4 minutes
Our reefs, mangroves and rainforests are suffering the consequences of over-population, over-development and over-consumption. Our coasts are being bulldozed and subdivided. The waterways are toxic with human waste. The fragile balance of this eco-system is tipping beyond repair causing fires, floods, droughts, cyclones and earthquakes: this earth is melting.
The latest IPCC climate report* outlined a dire future if we don’t take immediate action to cut greenhouse gases. We have the resources and the knowledge, but unless we act quickly, more communities will be vulnerable to devastating extreme weather events.
We must achieve NET ZERO CO2 EMISSIONS BY SLASHING METHANE POLLUTION. Methane is emitted during the production and transport of coal, natural gas, and oil. Methane emissions also result from livestock and other agricultural practices.
*Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Climate Report, August 2021.
I am a multidisciplinary visual and audio artist, poet and educator working in a wide range of media and art making processes. I have produced films, animations, photography, print folios, drawings, paintings, textile artworks, sculpture and installations.
I work from a sensory, meditative and subconscious approach to explore personal, cultural or contemporary themes. The concrete and imagined world is an everlasting delight of exploration and experimentation through the realm of the senses, intellect and emotions.
Run tide run, see tide run, hear tide run, feel tide run, smell tide run
MP3/WAV file: 3 minutes looped
The ‘Run tide run …’ soundscape is a composition of a range of water sounds recorded in situ and explored in prescribed spaces. It is then scored as an arrangement to evoke a running tide combined with the plethora of water sounds that abound in our lives as coastal dwellers. As human creatures who, on average, are made up of 60% water we are continually drawn to the essence of this liquid and its many manifestations. The possibilities of exploring and experimenting with these sounds are potentially endless.
Gabrielle Leah New is a multi-arts practitioner with an expanded performance practise exploring themes of identity, relationship to self, other and place. Informed by her Butoh, Bodyweather and Improvisation practices she creates immersive experiences that question current paradigms, shine light onto difficult issues and bring the hidden, the repressed, the avoided parts of the self and society into focus.
Gabrielle takes an embodied approach to artistic practice that draws on ritual or enacted understandings of the social body in relation to the performative activating states of being and psychological spaces to open discourse about healing and transformation as a collective and as individuals.
The Spirit of (Our) Nature
4.48 minute performance: video with sound
“When you realise the Earth is so much more than simply your environment, you’ll be moved to protect her in the same way as you would yourself.” Thich Naht Hahn
Created whilst in residence at Police Point, Mornington Peninsula ‘The Spirit of (Our) Nature’ investigates the symbiotic relationship humans have with Nature. Humans are a part of nature not separate or different. The Artist dances and is moved by her surroundings; the wind whistling, birds calling, trees swaying, grasses wavering, air on skin, she becomes one with her environment, utilising all her senses to connect with the nature she is immersed in. The artist has created a soundscape from sounds elicited by the environment and edited the video to create a surreal, otherworldly experience that one can attain when fully connected with the natural environment.
The work calls for audience members to reconnect with nature and hence their own essential spirit in solidarity with the Earth and all her creatures.
The Colour of Death: White
6.28 minute performance: video with sound.
Sound by Norm Skipp. Filming by Peter Quinn. Performance and video by Gabrielle Leah New.
The Colour of Death: White, is a collaboration between Gabrielle Leah New and Carolyn Cardinet and uses recycled plastic, sculptural costume, photography, video performance and Butoh Dance Theatre to investigate coral bleaching and creatively raise awareness of the plight of our coral reefs.
New embodies the process of and the human response to, the tragedy of Global Warming on essential coral reefs – particularly Australia’s Great Barrier Reef: Corals are unique creatures that live in a symbiotic relationship with certain algae. The beautiful and sensitive corals, the forests of the ocean, die from minor changes in water temperature.
The dying process begins with the termination of the relationship with the algae which causes the corals to die and turn white – the colour of death, not only for the coral but the reefs, their inhabitants and ultimately life on earth.
Born in Melbourne in 1952 Rod grew up in an environment surrounded by art; his grandmother and father were prolific painters. After leaving school Rod worked in landscape design whilst continuing to attend life drawing and painting classes. Rod commenced a glass traineeship in 1972 and moved to lead light/stained glass and successfully ran Sherlock Glass Studio for 10 years. Work commissions included figurative church memorials, domestic architectural pieces in both traditional and modern styles.
In 1983 Rod sailed to Port Douglas and discovered the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. He fell in love with the beauty of the underwater world. Rod has always had a love of the ocean and marine environment. As a reef skipper visiting the reef on a daily basis he has been inspired to capture its beauty and diversity in an artistic form.
Recently semi-retired and being inspired by David Hockney’s exhibition at NGV Rod has moved into digital art and started painting again.
A Few Degrees
Digital iPad drawing
This digital drawing reflects on the reef’s changeability, impermanence, allure and intrigue. The work also creates a conversation regarding the reef’s future and vulnerability.
Coral reefs are complex ecosystems; a few degrees rise in water temperature can be a matter of life or death. Coral bleaching can occur quickly and can be a death sentence if the water remains too warm for too long.
I have observed changes in the reef over a long period, including bleaching and all the stages in between. The drawing series reflects my observations.