Three Oceans Project : Scott Gardiner
The Three Oceans Project has developed on the back of two exhibitions Yield Point and Hold Back that explored humanities often strained relationship with the natural world. Rather than a call to arms or a vehement political statement these exhibitions attempted to instigate an inquiry on mortality, a subtle musing on the meaning of life and death. My primary focus being less about raising awareness of an issue and more concerned with investigating what I perceive of as a change in meaning around death in the face of potential climatic upheaval.
The Three Oceans Project, while still underpinned by similar concerns, will be a more personal reflection and journey. The three locations of the project, Sri Lanka, Sydney and Gisborne all represent significant points in my life and development, places I have forged meaningful relationships with the environment and its people, centered around and reliant upon the ocean. In these instances the ocean became a powerful, familiar environment, allowing me to connect on a deep level to a new and unfamiliar locale. During the project I wish to examine this complex relationship through my own personal experiences, understanding these are universal issues that relate to all human beings and our sense of place and belonging, an awareness of our mortality and a connection to something beyond ourselves.
The main thrust of the project is for me to generate work at each location that will be a manifestation of my response and connection to that environment. This response will also be informed by conversations with the locals about their relationship with the sea and their fears about the future. My work has always had an environmental consciousness and as fears around climate change worsen and information regarding the potential hostility of our planet become more widespread, I believe this is changing the already complex relationship we have with the ocean and indeed the environment in general. Three Oceans Project aims at addressing these issues in specific locations while dealing with universal themes that affect us all.