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Wellington based artist DSIDE shares musings over his exhibition: EXTINCTED

Wellington based artist DSIDE shares musings over his exhibition: EXTINCTED

Earlier this year  a wellington based artist named DSIDE - renowned for his paintings on the street - stepped inside the walls of a local gallery to relinquish his environmentally charged exhibition: EXTINCTED - an ode to extinct animals.  We get in touch with the enigmatic artist - who talks about his exhibition and philosophises over the calamitous case of mass extinction.

DSIDE - EXTINCTED from Thievery Studio on Vimeo.

What provoked your interest in both conservation and extinction?

..there is a lot of issues that get a lot of attention, while everything is interdependent, the planet itself, which would suggest is the most important of them all, gets very little in comparison.

When and how did you transform your ideology into an exhibition?

..had thought about it for a long time, and while am always researching the subject, it just started to get too heavy to not discuss on a larger scale, especially as one of the key intended works for the Exhibition was about Sudan, the last Male Northern White Rhino, and then on March 19th he died, rendering the species extinct. This was caused by direct human impact. So had to make the Exhibition happen fast; the poster [wall] was done and after the Exhibition was announced, the event happened a month later.

What did the creative process look like?

..for the EXTINCTED Exhibition.. there was a lot of thinking, and research, to make sure was being as accurate and effective with the information as could be, and then there was a lot of support to build the Gallery. Hyping, directing attention to the one night Exhibition, and making sure logistics of the painting out worked were priority, and while the works were heavily researched and considered the time invested in painting them was resultantly limited.

What did the artworks represent?

..each work was heavily filled with a different aspect of Extinction, many derived from various walls painted previously; some global, some native, and some philosophical. The supporting wall labels explained details and delivered facts, and the pricing was based on statistics to do with the particular issue, e.g: $8000 to symbolise the 8million tonnes of plastic dumped in the ocean per year,

Why the decision to allow people to paint over the pieces?

..this was the whole point of the Exhibition, so wasn't really a decision more a source, and while the “first time you can ever get a Dside work” sentence helped fuel the attendance, there never was going to be anything available or sold. The Act of painting over them, and actively doing so in front of people by a group of similar people, has a lot of layers, though at surface level is symbolic directly to Extinction; a total removal and non existence of something that was there previously.

How does this tie into your philosophy on extinction?

..current philosophy’s of Extinction are not static, they’re always shifting as the worlds situations change, its such a dynamic problem; yet the unfortunate reality is its getting worse, and is fuelled by so many aspects, most people probably have no idea how hugely their daily consumption and brand support choices effect critical aspects all over the World..  its the age of information availability, yet so easy to be buried and blinded by hype of irrelevance. Extinction is real, dramatic, irreversible, and overwhelmingly due to direct Human fault, often ignorantly so.

How has the public engaged with your work – do you think you’ve been effective in raising awareness on this issue?

..for the Exhibition in particular, the whole project was aimed at delivering the information and realities, there was no aspect created to try retrieve this response or gauge any statistics on its effectiveness, and had also left the Space during the painting over so the public couldn't get a response/confirmation, leaving it about them, the work, and the happening.. so while could have an opinion, would suggest that’s a question far more suited for the public.

What role can art play in dealing with topics such as conservation and extinction?

..Artist’s, and Comedian’s, are possibly the last public realm positions that can speak the truth and be capable of translating it to a form that the public can receive and process. As a great Human once said, “if you have a voice you better have something to say”, this was Tom Scott on a radio interview a long time ago, rekon its pretty wise and have tried to retain its importance in all projects.

What are some other works you have done that are environmentally charged?

..as BMD, a lot were, and as DSIDE, they all are. Enough people are talking about people, so full focus is put on all the rest of the planet, its lands and residents. These species and Environments are trying very hard to tell us they’re struggling, and we’re hurting them, nearly to a point of irreversibility. And if you listen its scarily obvious how bad the situation is, though society has made everyone so busy they often cant allow time to hear, or have been educated not to be aware they should be, or how to. So while all works are charged and sourced with these messages, its about the balance of being receivable or staunch, and placing the right depth in the right places..

What are you currently working on?

..currently am in the last stages of planning for DSIDE'S biggest project, has been tested and developed for a few years, though kept getting put aside to focus on other things, however the subject it tackles is now more palatable for general public so the timing is right, will be announcing it at the end of October.

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