20 June - 8 July 2019
Sharon Singer: Trash Fish
It is estimated that three-quarters of the world’s fisheries are exploited or over fished. Each year, inefficient and destructive fishing practices kill millions of fish and other marine animals as unwanted bycatch. This is known in the industry as ‘trash fish.’ Poor management of fisheries exacerbated by climate change is the largest threat to ocean life and habitat, as well as effecting billions of workers and consumers. Conservation of precious oceanic resources is vital not only to preserving marine ecosystems, but to sustaining livelihoods.
Trash Fish consists of hundreds of sardine cans peeled open and arranged in a modernist grid, their original contents emptied and forgotten. Part assemblage, part painting, small still-life studies of half eaten fish are delicately painted into the base of the cans, layered with oil paint and sealed in with damar and linseed oil. The recognisable manufactured object retains its identity within the work but is imbued with new meaning, with each miniscule fish permanently placed in a symbolic canned coffin. The tightly packed grid layout demonstrates the sheer number of marine life damaged by fisheries. In Trash Fish, the dead fish are quite literally packed like sardines.
Sharon Singer is a Britsh born Dunedin based artist. Her work is held in private and public collections in New Zealand and internationally. She has worked with fairy tales and myth as the subject of her paintings since 2000, invoking concerns such as narrative and meta-fictional awareness, feminist re-telling and fairy tale as popular culture. In more recent years her work has addressed the themes of climate change, the ocean’s spiritual meaning and consumer value, either as a vast mystery or a source of consumable resources. Underpinning all is an interest in the human condition in relationship to nature.
The Dunedin Fringe Festival is the world’s southernmost festival of its kind. Initiated in 2000, Dunedin Fringe aims to bring experimental contemporary art to a wider audience and to support the work of emerging artists. Dunedin Fringe is an annual event which happens every March timed to coincide with other fringe festivals in New Zealand and Australia.
Dunedin Fringe Arts Trust
PO Box 1331
03 477 3350