Monday, October 21, 2019

ANTHROPOCENE - The R & M McGivern Prize 2019

Deborah Klein, Phyllium giganteum homo insecta, 2018, watercolour, 41.91 x 29.72 cm
Shortlisted for the R & M McGivern Prize 2019
Photo credit: Tim Gresham

The theme of the upcoming R & M McGivern Prize 2019 is Anthropocene, and I'm delighted to be one of the 45 finalists.

The Anthropocene marks the commencement of substantial human impact on our planet’s geology and ecosystems, including climate change. The precise time of its inception is unconfirmed, but possibly dates from as early as 12,000 - 15,000 years ago. The year 1945, commonly referred to as The Great Acceleration, ushered in a period when the impact of humans on this planet would increase more dramatically than ever before. 

Yet the Anthropocene has still to be officially recognised as an official subdivision of ecological time; a final decision is unlikely to be made until at least 2021. Meanwhile, my research anticipates a new epoch: The Great De-acceleration, in which humanity acknowledges its contribution to climate and ecological breakdown and recognises that we are not separate from nature, but an integral part of it.

Phyllium Giganteum homo-insecta, pictured top, hovers at the crossroads of science and science fiction. It is one of a series of ‘unnatural history illustrations’ documenting the advancement of Homo insecta, a highly evolved Order wherein human and nature are one.

Anthropocene will be held across two venues: ArtSpace at Realm and Maroondah Federation Estate Gallery, Ringwood from 23 November 2019 - 2 February 2020. The finalists are listed below: