Archive | February 2014

Project Wild Thing – a fun film with a serious heart

During the Sustainable Living Festival we called in to see a film called Project Wild Thing. The documentary follows a Dad, David Bond, frustrated his two small children only seemed to like television, as he tries to promote Nature as a viable alternative.

Marketing Manager for Nature

He begins a marketing campaign promoting Nature to children. He interviews experts, including his own mother, about the fact we’ve lost the ability to ramble through wilderness because there’s less places for kids to play, kids are overprotected and there’s computers to keep them absorbed. There are scientists who rate children’s health concerns and advertising gurus wonder what the benefits of nature might be.

Apparently the project began because of a growing interest in what’s been termed the nature deficit disorder. Richard Louv coined that term and was also here for the festival but one can’t be everywhere. Here’s a link to a video about his book, Last Child in the Woods, instead and here’s a picture of his latest book. I think I shall read this one!

Cover of The Nature Principle.

Richard Louv’s most recent book.

Research and analysis around the world has proved that people, more importantly, children, are spending much more time inside and hardly any time outside. When David Bond interviewed teenagers they said that wildness was boring. One girl said she never goes to the park near her because lots of people walk their dogs there and dogs can maul you to death. Mind you, when he took a few of them on a walk in the local park they became animated, interested and quickly made a daisy chain.

In a delightful animation, made by the same film makers, a young voice explains we were better off before there were things with buttons to push (at 1:15) ‘They didn’t have the virtual quests, they had, like, the world was their quest.’

The Project Wild campaign really ramps up when the filmmakers hook up with Good For Nothing, a group of advertisers and marketers who donate their time and expertise to workshop ideas. As a result there’s an amazing spread of activity from billboards to flyers and an app giving kids ideas about what to do in Nature. It’s all super!

Trailer for Project Wild Thing movie

When I was searching Project Wild Thing for this blog I found an American group called Project Wild. Apparently there’s been many groups formed as a result of Richard Louv’s work. There’s even been attempts at legislation with the No Child Left Inside movement.

What will happen to future generations if kids don’t get outside?

picture of creek with the slogan 'Original Playstation'

Art Climate Ethics – What role for the arts?

Found plastics on Robe beach altered by Victoria Osborne and Philip Millar

I wove these different coloured ropes into this handbag shape as a container for plastic items we found on Robe beach in South Australia.

“Art, nature and I became vital and inseparable companions.” GUY ABRAHAMS: AN ART DEALER’S EPIPHANY

I’ve been working on an adult literary novel called Man of clay for fifteen years. I’m hoping to put it up on this website shortly. In the book a character called Willliam wonders whether to take over his mother’s art gallery, just like Guy did. In the above mentioned article, Guy, the CEO of Climarte, speaks eloquently about art and nature and recommends we go to a discussion called Art Climate Ethics: What role for the arts? So we did.

Found plastics arranged as if stuffed into a toy bird

Plastics found on Robe beach – an homage to Chris Jordan by Philip Millar and Victoria Osborne

And what a wonderful discussion it was. Not only did we get to see Fiona Hall, Mandy Martin, Damon Young and Peter Cristoff but also Chris Jordan.

Damon Young is a philosopher and writer who set his discussion, or provocation, about the Anthropocene Age in a sea of jellyfish.

Mandy Martin is an artist, a painter, who has decided to go for her activism. She doesn’t care if there’s negative consequences. She’s too busy getting her message out in delicious landscapes, colours and textures. She showed us some of her work painted around powerstations and mines. One was called Vivitur Ex Rapto, or Man lives off greed. She told us we are all implicated because of our need for resources.

Peter Christoff is an academic. His most recent book is Four Degrees of Global Warming: Australia in a hot world. He believes the public knows about climate change. He thinks they have had the information but they are angered or frustrated or made helpless by the knowledge of impending doom. Generally, he said, they think someone else will look after the problems some other time. He thinks we have an ‘imagination deficit’. I totally agree with this notion. I think most Australians cannot imagine anything much further in the future than the next footy season. Is that just human nature?

Fiona Hall is an eloquent artist but her speech was marred by her use of arrrr and ummmms … Her work is brilliant.

Chris Jordan is the man behind the shocking images of plastic-stuffed albatross. He’s also made a film about Midway, the island of the albatross, here’s the trailer for Midway. He spoke about the need for a shift in consciousness. Humans must become more radical, as in the word origin from ‘root’. We must go back to our roots. He talked about how our society has placed our thinking in the amygdalla – the place of fear – the lizard part of our brain. Everything humans, particularly the West, seems to do comes from reacting to fear. Like America, rushing off to war for no apparent reason. He believes art has the ability to take thinking out of fear and put it in the limbic part of the brain or our feelings. We need to feel anger and grief because of the loss of our charismatic fauna – ‘artworks of God’ – the sacred miracles of our world. We need to acknowledge our collective sadness, move through the grief and become activists.

Here’s a link to his TED talk which focuses on his Running the numbers work.

Whale tale of plastic spade handle

We took several bags of plastic bits and nylon rope away from this beach holiday.