CityU faculty selected one of 35 global artists working for the environment
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The sculptures of Mr Scott Hessels, Associate Professor in the School of Creative Media at City University of Hong Kong (CityU), featured prominently in an Earth Day exhibition after he was invited to be one of 35 global artists involved in the project.
“Footing the Bill: Art and Our Ecological Footprint” is a two-part exhibition addressing the urgent need to live sustainably within the Earth’s finite resources. Part II of the exhibition launched on Earth Day (April 22) and included Mr Hessels’ work.
Artists participate in events organised by Art Works for Change, which was founded in 2008, by invite only. The aim is to address critical social and environmental issues through art.
Mr Hessels captured the unlimited uses of clean sources of power through his artworks in a powerful way that renders him one of the most impactful artists in this field.
“We conduct research to find artists whose work conveys the messages of our exhibition in unique and engaging ways,” said Mr Al Grumet, Director of Online Programming at Art Works for Change.
“In the case of Scott Hessels, I was researching kinetic sculptures powered by alternative energy sources and found his Sustainable Cinema series. We immediately saw rich story-telling possibilities in his work and were excited to extend the invitation,” he said.
Mr Hessels explores the relationship between technology and the natural environment through his innovative sculptors and filmmaking.
“I'd rather make work that is outside a museum or gallery and part of everyday life. This online collection is great because it's not just the art community but a much broader base of people interested in solutions for climate issues,” he explained.
Mr Hessels’ sculptures, which originated from his research at CityU, have been presented in museums and exhibitions around the world. The Earth Day exhibition is an online selection of artists who are working towards sustainable issues.
“The objective was to create media machines that are powered by natural energy sources —wind, water, pedal-power. It's a way to make the public consider energy usage in the technologies we have surrounded ourselves with,” he said.
In his Sustainable Cinema series, Mr Hessels creates five cinematic machines that combine the earliest animation technologies with clean sources of power. These kinetic sculptures are time machines that transport us back to the origins of cinema, and then forward into our collective future, where clean energy is harnessed to support emerging technologies.
“All of the works in this exhibition are focused on finding ways to improve our relationship with the environment,” he added.
Note to editors:
Caption: Mr Scott Hessels in front of “Image Mill”, 2009, steel, plexiglass, 2m diameter.
Caption: “Shadow Play” by Scott Hessels, 2011, wood, fabric, steel, plexiglass, 4 m high.
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