Curated by Nadia Johnson
The annual Hatched: National Graduate Show tracks the changing trends and developments in emerging contemporary art by providing an annual snapshot of the country’s aesthetic mood. It has become a vital compass in identifying a new generation of emerging artists, fresh out of art school and eager to embark on their careers.
2015 will see the 24th iteration of Hatched, still the only national exhibition of its kind and, once again, a celebration of the most talented graduate artists from 22 of Australia’s best art schools and universities.
This is the sixth year that PICA has worked with the University of Western Australia and the trustees of the Dr Harold Schenberg bequest to present the Dr Harold Schenberg Art Prize of $35,000 to one outstanding Hatched artist. The 2015 prize judges: Amy Barrett-Lennard, Director, PICA; Lisa Slade, Assistant Director Artistic Programs, Art Gallery of South Australia; and Ted Snell, Director, UWA Cultural Precinct said:
‘Andrew Styan’s work displayed a power in its simplicity and a sense of autobiography and a deep knowledge about a place, but without sentimentality. The three main elements of his video, light, sound and sculpture installation collectively envelop the viewer, creating a “device of wonder”. On seeing the work the judges felt an immediate urge to see more by this artist.’
Andrew Styan’s work The Bell Buoy is a kinetic multimedia installation exploring humanity’s impact on climate. A mechanically rotating piece of coal is filmed and projected live in the gallery space creating a surreal live film of a hyper-realistic asteroid looming ever closer.
Humanity’s impact on the climate is profound and yet the collective will to act is absent. The explanation for this paradox may lie in an inability to distinguish the physical reality of the world we inhabit from the version of it mediated through technology and the media. The Bell Buoy explores this idea: while the approaching asteroid of disaster-movie fiction becomes a metaphor for the imminent climate catastrophe, its source in physical reality – the spinning fragment of fossil fuel – draws a parallel with our hyperreal world. The lone, silent buoy is an impotent warning of the danger. As Kipling’s poem ‘The Bell Buoy’ heralds, “By the gates of doom I sing, On the horns of death I ride.”