Tutorial: Block 3, Week 1: Artist Talk — Chris Wainwright

David Somers bio photo By David Somers Comment


An additional group tutorial this week: an artist talk by Chris Wainwright who is the Pro-Vice Chancellor for Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon Colleges of Arts — or a Jonathan puts it “he is the top boss!” He is also an artist and has been focusing on environmental and sustainability issues for a number of years. Following our discussions on sustainability last term (particularly the day we had during the Low Residency) Wainwright will develop some of these themes through talking about his own work.

Lurking in the background is Keir Williams, a lecturer and artist in Bristol, and some of the 2nd year students have had tutorials with him. Keir is here today observing Jonathan as he is writing a research paper looking at blended learning, online and face-to-face like today.

Wainwright starts by saying that sustainability is a bit of catch-all term. It can be easily appropriated for other means. He tries to approach the idea of sustainability from art practice.

Had some a lot of work in the arctic region working with artists and scientists on climate change. Can see the effects of CC quite dramatically. The issue is this part of the world is like a litmus paper for what’s happening in the rest of the world… and it is also unashamedly photogenic. Series called Red Ice

He made the images available. Very few restrictions (such as don’t crop it). Have been used on things like album covers.

He did an expo about climate change that wen to Beijing — U-n-f-o-l-d.

Body of work, “A catalog of errors”. Interested in signals. This work uses semaphore. Primitive but effective means of communication. Took photos of people doing semaphore sign for “error” in places affected by the tsunami in Japan, 2011.

Project called “We are all stars”. Based on conversation with people recounting their experience of the tsunami. When the water cam e into the town and destroyed the electricity, there was no light pollution. Therefore the sky was clear and the starts visible. People more aware of the night sky than usual. The stars in the sky were seen as the souls of the people who were washed out to see who drowned.

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