Collaborative sculptural artists, Ken (Japan) and Julia (Australia) Yonetani’s work often discuss the current state of our environment, and in light of Art Month (which the pair are indeed a part of) we sought to learn more about their practice. They have shown all over the world, most notably at the Venice Biennale and also at our own Art Gallery of New South Wales, and now we share one of their beautifully poignant installations with you.
Still Life: The Food Bowl, 2011, is a collection of objects molded out of groundwater salt from the Murray-Darling Basin, known as ‘Australia’s food bowl’. The work touches on the artistic tradition of Still Life that emerged out of the rising European bourgeois class from centuries ago. In an attempt to bring to their audience’s attention the environmental issue of salinity, the artists reenact the contemporary human condition of consumption and mortality as direct influences on the current state of our environment. Through the juxtaposition of salt as both preservative of food and destroyer of ecosystems, the pair presents a complex metaphor of the rise and fall of civilizations and the problem of climate change that faces us on a global scale today.
To see more of their work, visit their website.