About Fitzgerald Biosphere by Amok Island
Opening at 6pm on 13 October, 2016 at FORM Gallery, Fitzgerald Biosphere is a body of new work by acclaimed Fremantle-based artist Amok Island. The Amsterdam- born, multi-disciplinary artist has recently completed PUBLIC Art in Ravensthorpe’s Six Stages of Banksia baxteri – a 25 metre high wildflower inspired mural across three CBH Group silos in Ravensthorpe, Western Australia. The Fitzgerald Biosphere exhibition works were developed around Six Stages of Banksia baxteri, which is the second in a series of monumental street art murals on grain silos delivered by FORM in partnership with CBH Group over the last 18 months. The first, in the Wheatbelt community of Northam in March 2015, was Australia’s first silo mural project.
Six Stages of Banksia baxteri is Amok Island’s largest mural to date and entailed 31 days of painting and incorporated native Western Australian wildlife and flowers to fit with the region’s strong links and connection to wildflowers.
“Each silo side shows a different stage of the flowering cycle of this species of Banksia, only found between Esperance and Albany,” Amok Island said.
“From flower buds, to full bloom, to seedpods developing, drying out and opening. The animals are this species’ main pollinators; the Honey Possum and New Holland Honey eater. The artwork encircles the three silos infinitely; the final silo marks the beginning once again of the first, making a connection with the cycle of the seasons and grain farming processes this area is known for.”
Amok Island’s recently completed commission for CBH silos in Ravensthorpe sits within the Fitzgerald Biosphere, an area of internationally significant biodiversity situated at the border of the Goldfields-Esperance and Great Southern regions. Like his silo mural, the Fitzgerald Biosphere exhibition works — which include a commissioned mural on the gallery wall — depict a selection of flora endemic to the Biosphere, an area containing around 20 per cent of Western Australia’s native plant species.
Amok Island’s Fitzgerald Biosphere is showing in conjunction with Doreen Chapman, a self-titled solo exhibition by one of Western Australia’s rising Aboriginal art stars, Pilbara-based painter Doreen Chapman. Though Chapman and Amok Island each have a very different aesthetic sensibility and relationship to landscape, the pair are linked by their vibrant pastel colour palette, the inspiration they draw from Western Australia’s regional landscape, and their distinctive eye for capturing the unique qualities of the State’s flora and fauna with humour and charm.
Read together, these two solo exhibitions reimagine some of the State’s most remote landscapes, while showcasing the diversity of FORM’s ongoing regional programming. Fitzgerald Biosphere will also feature’s PUBLIC Art In Ravensthorpe, a short film by Peacock Visuals documenting the 31 day process and finished artwork. Watch It Here
Amok Island’s practice spans painting on canvas, screen prints, large-scale murals and sculptural work. He has exhibited his work in The Netherlands, Japan, and Australia and painted murals in over 20 countries worldwide. In 2015 the Wide Walls website listed him as one of the top 10 Dutch urban artists. Since 2013 Amok Island has begun various ongoing sculptural projects using stainless steel and concrete, submerging concrete letter sculptures in various marine environments around Western Australia, and documenting the process of nature taking them over.
Fitzgerald Biosphere will exhibit from 13 October until late December.