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Local artist to show works in Alaska

By Louise Errington

The 2.8m x 1.5m digital print “Thongs” will be one of CDU Visual Arts Lecturer and postgraduate student John Dahlsen’s art works on show in Anchorage, Alaska The 2.8m x 1.5m digital print “Thongs” will be one of CDU Visual Arts Lecturer and postgraduate student John Dahlsen’s art works on show in Anchorage, Alaska

Works by a local environmental artist that highlight the issue of ocean litter will be shown in Darwin’s Sister City, Anchorage (Alaska, USA), from this month.

The exhibition, entitled “Gyre: The Plastic Ocean”, aims to highlight the global issue of marine debris through contemporary art.

Charles Darwin University Visual Arts Lecturer and postgraduate student John Dahlsen said he was delighted to be one of 20 artists from across the globe to be invited to participate in the exhibition.

“The show aims to raise awareness of the concentration of a huge vortex of marine debris in the North Pacific Ocean, known as the ‘Garbage Patch’,” Mr Dahlsen said.

“Around 80 per cent of the plastic that washes up on our shores is ocean litter.”

Mr Dahlsen is well known for his artistic creations made from found materials such as plastics and metals. His five works in the exhibition are digital prints on canvas and paper created from assemblages of plastics collected from Australian beaches.

“Even though the materials I make my art from, such as discarded thongs and plastic bottles and bags, could be considered as rather odious, my intention is to make something beautiful,” Mr Dahlsen said.

“I want my art to have a positive impact on people and to raise awareness of how to recycle, how to make environmental art, and how to bring about a change in attitude about environmental issues.”

Mr Dahlsen’s career as an environmental artist has spanned more than 30 years. He has won the Wynne Prize at the Art Gallery of NSW and represented Australia with his art at the Athens Olympics.

He has worked with various environmental initiatives, including Clean Up Australia and World Environment Day.

The exhibition will run from 7 February – 6 September 2014 at the Anchorage Museum, Alaska, USA.