Energy landscapes – the new frontier
Today we live within the new frontier of industrial energy landscapes, relying on these environments for power. Painter Robert Habel and filmmaker Cole Larsen enmeshed themselves in established and emerging industrial landscapes. This included the so called ‘alternative’ energy landscape with its numerous titles: renewable, clean green, low emissions, carbon neutral, planet friendly. These environments host solar farms, wind farms, geothermal, biomass and tidal energy. The artists collaborated to uncover an aesthetic appeal from these contemporary landscapes while delving into the debate about the use/misuse of these environments and our hunger for resources and energy.
Robert and Cole collaborated outdoors, on site and within the landscape. This brought to the painting some of the experiences of working within the subject: such as the pressure to make quick decisions, the play of change, the extremes of weather, interpretation of scale and the personal discomfort of a long day’s or night’s work. Cole filmed these painting interactions with environments as the starting point for his moving image works, interpreting the artist in the landscape as performer.
The artists Robert Habel and Cole Larsen produced new works which responded to the 2011 Veolia World Solar Challenge. The Solar Challenge is a prestigious journey across Australia undertaken in cars powered by the sun. Created onsite at the World Solar Challenge starting line in Darwin, Robert and Cole’s works complemented the special RiAus event, Mission Control @ the Science Exchange.
This exhibition consisted of paintings and accompanying moving image works.