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UAL Research Online

Saving the Bloody Planet

Keane, John (2001) Saving the Bloody Planet. [Show/Exhibition]

Type of Research: Show/Exhibition
Creators: Keane, John

In 2000 I was approached by the environmental group Greenpeace International to do a project about their work campaigning against the illegal logging trade in the Amazon region of Brazil. Co-funded by Camberwell and Greenpeace, I spent 3 weeks aboard one of their ships travelling downstream from Santarem to Belem, observing the activists’ campaign and the rain forest environment itself. This presented me with my first opportunity to use of digital technology as a means of photographing, storing and manipulating images for use in paintings. In some of these paintings I explored and compared the symmetries presented both in the extraordinary vistas of forest reflected in water and that of the pattern on the wings of a particular tropical butterfly, the ‘Caligo’, or Owl butterfly, which possesses eye spots with a remarkable degree of verisimilitude. I experimented with images of the river bank painted onto a large canvases which were then folded, as in an ink blot, or Rorschach test. The resulting visual perception of a forest reflected in water seemed comparable to me with the interpretation of dots on a butterfly’s wings as eyes, and I examined this phenomenon using both ink jet printing and oil painting on canvas. Several paintings of the 'Souvenir’ series also dealt with human and animal life in the Amazon environment, but were painted on sections of rain forest timber salvaged from an illegal consignment intercepted by Geenpeace. Paintings from this exhibition have been seen in London, New York, Los Angeles, and in a retrospective at the Ferens Art Gallery, Hull. Greenpeace International used the exhibition to promote their Amazon campaign and reproduced one of the images on the cover of their 2001 annual report.

Official Website: http://www.flowerseast.com/Originals_Exhibitions.asp?Exhibition=02FWJK&OE=1
Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: RAE2008 UoA63
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Camberwell College of Arts
Date: 9 June 2001
Event Location: Flowers West, Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave, E1, Santa Monica CA 90404
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2009 12:32
Last Modified: 04 Oct 2011 10:32
Item ID: 914
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/914

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