There can be little doubt that “green issues” are at the forefront of contemporary collective consciousness. Notions of recycling, climate change, and environmental sustainability are all pertinent topics of discussion and have manifested themselves in such diverse initiatives as the United Nations Environment Programme’s Billion Tree Campaign and Greenpeace. With the upcoming COP-17, UN Climate Change Conference in Durban all eyes will be on South Africa as a central figure in this global dialogue.
Yet to view a notion of environment in isolated terms of its nature connotations is to ignore the fundamental interrelations of the word in its broader context. The Oxford English Dictionary supplies multiple definitions of environment including:
• Freq. with the. The natural world or physical surroundings in general, either as a whole or within a particular geographical area, esp. as affected by human activity.
• The social, political, or cultural circumstances in which a person lives, esp. with respect to their effect on behaviour, attitudes, etc.; (with modifying word) a particular set of such circumstances.
• Art. A large three-dimensional artwork designed to be experienced from within.
Thus the term becomes something that one experiences, but also something that one perpetuates and has the potential to influence; environment as an entity sustained by a series of actions and reactions.
With this in mind, Brundyn + Gonsalves proudly presents Implemented Environments. The exhibition incorporates a diverse array of responses to the theme although consistent throughout is a frank honesty in the artists’ reflections. Indeed the exhibition runs the gamut from the whimsical to the confrontational. Implemented Environments marks an insightful and relevant investigation into South African artists’ meditations on notions of environment; whether addressing ecological, economic or sociopolitical conditions or simply reflecting on the earth-human connection.