Helpmann Academy Graduate Exhibition Featured Artist 2018.
In Australia, climate change is ever increasing the risk of catastrophic bushfires. Neville Cichon's, Unleashing hell series is inspired from a quote by Australian climatologist Neville Nicholls stating that because of inaction on reducing carbon emissions, climatic changes will disastrously increase the prevalence and impact of bushfires such that we are unleashing hell upon Australia*.
For Cichon, the iconic imagery of polar bears, or hurricanes in faraway places do little to connect our day-to-day lives with climatic changes occurring slowly around us. In contrast, the household objects bring home the reality of climate change. The strong references to electricity and energy consumption throughout this series aims to highlight the role of coal fired power stations as the single largest contributor of carbon emissions in Australia.
Similarly, in Words fail us, Cichon refers to the Fire Danger Index, which applies the rating of catastrophic for conditions at 100 or higher on the scale, while some of our most deadly fires have exceeded 180. Radiant heat in major bushfires can be so intense that it can kill people from hundreds of metres away without a flame ever touching them.
Cichon proposes to us, that the threat of melting ice caps and rising sea levels may not motivate Australia to act on climate change, but maybe the increased prevalence of bushfires will ignite our actions.
* Greenpeace and NSW Fire Brigade Employees Union, 'Future risk: The increased risk of catastrophic bushfires due to climate change', 2010, Sydney, Australia.
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