An Artist's Vision of Environmental and Economic Sustainability for Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Artists

By John Dahlsen.

Published by The International Journal of Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Environmental artist John Dahlsen's work explores how creating synergistic opportunities in globalized economic times can create breakthrough resolutions for artists whose art creates positive shifts for future environmental transformation. Dahlsen's vision aids art professionals with new opportunities, perceptions and suggested synergies, as marginalized artists experience potential compromise in their careers with events like the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), resulting in unemployment, cessation of career activities, or at best new career paths in associated fields. An art form most significantly interrupted by the GFC, was the Indigenous art of Australia, which had seen a dream run in exhibition and auction sales since the boom in the 1980s. These boom years came crashing to an all-time low during 2007–2008 with the advent of the Global Financial Crisis. In the case of the Indigenous art movement, it was revealed that the unfettered blurring of the lines between fine art and craft is not only unnecessary but needing reassessment. A redefinition as a result of the GFC and an introduction of clear delineation will assist in re-asserting integrity across the board within this art movement. Collaborations can potentially engender unprecedented industry support, and encourage artists to adapt positively to uncertain economic times. Progress through diversification provides opportunity for economic viability for artists, leading to a reduction of economic stress for them, who in socially unjustifiable ways may otherwise compromise creativity to survive. Providing insight through new research and education will fill gaps in this knowledge. For our cultural future to be guided by artists whose creativity is centered on environmental aesthetics, they need freeing up from financial constrictions to work effectively, all requiring significant shifts in consciousness. Progress requires perceptual shifts, beginning with the artists involved in implementing their vision. Industry and social backing will support these artists’ creative vision and environmental awareness aesthetic, whose art will help shape future evolution and environmental transformation.

Keywords: Globalization, Artists, Environment, Culture, Indigenous, Non-Indigenous, Sustainability

The International Journal of Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp.1-9. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 716.193KB).

John Dahlsen

PhD Candidate, Visual Arts Lecturer, Faculty of Law, Education, Business & Arts, School of Creative Arts and Humanities, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, NT, Australia

My work as an artist spans thirty years. I studied at the Victorian College of the Arts, won the Wynne prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 2000 and my art represented Australia at the Athens Olympics. I’m currently a lecturer in visual arts and a PhD candidate at Charles Darwin University. I’ve written manuscripts including a mid-career memoir and an artist help book titled ‘An artists guide to a successful career’, published by Common Ground publishing in Dec 2013. I’m a public speaker and educator and I’m passionate about developing support for marginalized artists by the art industry and by society during tough economic times. My artwork is multidisciplinary and includes painting, and found objects, mainly beach found plastic litter, thematically based on environmental issues, taking society's discarded everyday objects and transforming them into formal compositions. My art examines the passage of time in the landscape and the place of man within it.