Since completing undergraduate studies at the beginning of the postmodern epoch, artist Gilbert Grace has been preoccupied with the environment, heirloom values, and quality. Victor Papanek, Roland Barthes and Donald Brook framed his education and experience. At the fall of the Berlin Wall Grace was undertaking his BA Honours at RMIT. Conflicted by the loss of ‘grand recits’ he has spent the intervening years researching environmental issues through mobility and phenomenology. Grace completed an MFA at the economically besieged SCA in 2016 and is waiting upon the conferring of his degree.
Realising Ian Milliss’s Kandos School of Cultural Adaptation from Cementa13 became my idee fixe and project for Cementa17. Long before 2017, KSCA took on a life of its own, including a Land+Art residency. I am working alongside Ian Milliss, Laura Fisher and the other members of KSCA to achieve some, if not all, of Ian’s ambitions for Kandos (the ersatz Lithgow that provided the research impetus). We are navigating bureaucratic hurdles to obtain a licence for Stuart Andrews to grow a crop of low-THC industrial hemp at Marloo. From a list of prospective outcomes we have completed a hempcrete ceremonial gate on Angus Avenue, a first-edition bamboo and hemp bicycle frame (more to come) … and Futurelands2. The project will contribute to the body of knowledge required for a hemp industry to flourish in Australia as Sir Joseph Banks, The British Royal Society and the British Admiralty intended. Artist’s talk: midday every day except Saturday Book at Eventbrite for the Tour of Marloo: Bus departs Kandos 9am Saturday 8 April
Art is language. Art is not a spiritual vocation nor an avocation. In my practice I explore quality of life, the environment, and economy of materials.