Werner Theinert – Field of View Artist

Werner Theinert is one of the five Artists in the Fields of View exhibition, here are his responses to a few questions I asked him about the exhibition.

werner-portrait

Tell us about the works you have created for this series of exhibitions. (medium, style, intent, subject.)

I have chosen three pieces from my Black Saturday series to be a part of the fields of View Tour.

They are all 1200 by 1200mm high resolution images, printed on high quality vinyl which in turn is covered with a clear semi matt protective layer.  This is then self adhesively fixed to an aluminium sandwich board – modern day sign writer technology.  The board then has an aluminium channel fixed to the rear, to allow easy hanging of the work and to provide a degree of strength and rigidity to the board.

The original images are firstly copied and melded into geometric angular panels.  These panels are then combined and shaded to give an illusion of three dimensional boxes.  The patterns create an Escher type illusionary effect.

The original images used to create these pictures were taken on the Sunday morning after Black Saturday, and as such have a very strong association with the devastating events of that fateful night.  The many stark images taken that morning are a clear reminder to me of the hopelessness of mans efforts to in any way try to combat the sheer raw power of Mother Nature – the destruction was total and complete.

The first piece is titled Distorted Metal.  The original image was taken with the collapsed roof of our burnt studio workshop at an angle in the foreground, with the fatally injured Bungalow and blackened tree line in the background.  The interesting patterns created at the corners of the boxes resemble radiating stars, with the blackened trees creating a feather like pattern within the stars.  The other interesting part of the image is the Crab like creature created by the angled metal sheets.

The 2nd piece is titled Burnt Studio Metal, this was all that was left of our Studio workshop – but burnt metal and molten glass, with the stark blackened trees standing sentinel in the background.  The interesting feature of this piece is the appearance of a halo or a circle around the top of each box (or is that the bottom of the box).

burnt-studio-metal

The 3rd piece is titled Mower Metal Burnt.  This was an image of the remains of our shed.  The shed had the mowers, bikes, hydraulic splitter, slasher – anything and everything gardening!  The colours are simply Black, Brown and White.  There are so many different things created by the melding of the images, limited only by your imagination.

Conceptually the boxes each represent a family home, a family unit.  Each box is a part of a group of boxes – a small community.  The next pictures in the Black Saturday series then have many more boxes – representing a large community, and the next one with even more boxes – a State.  With the final image in the series, with the boxes arranged in a seemingly chaotic manner representing the chaos and disorder after Black Saturday, but if you look closely – bigger, overall boxes still remain, in other words the fundamental fabric of the community still remains!

How has the environment shaped the art you produce?

The Environment, and what we the people of the world are doing to it, is a major concern for me personally.  I am an avid reader of people like Heinberg, Gore and Flannery, I am currently looking into things like Permaculture and self sufficiency.

I would say that the events of Black Saturday have reinforced and confirmed my views on climate change.  The extremes of climate which we experienced firsthand that day have increased my resolve and my passion to continue on the path to self sufficiency, and to spread the word on Climate Change and Environmentalism, using Art as a medium.  It has also provided me with a vast number of graphic images and material for me by which I can continue my artistic journey.

My aim is to provide a visual narrative that creates and enhances discussion about the environment, and the future of our world.  I have worked in various capacities within the energy industry.  I have worked in the Telecommunications Industry, Aluminium Smelters, Alumina Refineries, LNG Production plants and Brown Coal fired power stations.

I have lived my adult life in Bahrain, Qatar and in Australia’s Victoria and even the Northern Territory.  I feel that these experiences have given me a valuable insight into the environmental workings of all of these industries, but also an insight into the attitudes and philosophies of our politicians and leaders.

I have made a conscious decision to aim for self sufficiency.

What does being an environmental expressionist mean to you?

Being an Environmental Expressionist, for me, means I am a member of a group of contemporary artists, utilising Art as the medium for conveying the Environmental message to the public and to the world.

The Black Saturday fires forms a major aspect to this exhibition, do the works you have created somehow act as a form of healing for you?

Art has been a catalyst for my healing process by providing avenues of support and a creative voice through expression of my emotional reaction to the destruction of our property by the unleashed forces of nature.

The use of the optical illusion created in my images portrays my own feelings of the illusion of ownership and property.

For me the post Black Saturday “healing” has also been provided by the rebuilding of our property and our lives from the ashes left by Black Saturday.  Closure has occurred by the demolishing team removing the remains of our Studio / Workshop and shed, by finally making the decision to demolish and remove our Study / Office at the end of the house, and the decision to demolish and remove our Bungalow, and replace it with our new Studio Gallery.

The completion of the rebuilding works, have also provided me with the healing and the closure required to adequately cope with this event.  The creation of my new series and the positive outcomes of our exhibition at Red Gallery, the creation and launch of Environmental Expressionism, when combined with the forthcoming Fields of View touring exhibition have further assisted in the healing process.

What sorts of messages are you communicating with your work?

My artistic journey is one of discovery.  My earlier work manipulated the original image and created a spiralling ever decreasing illusionary effect which was a metaphor for the decreasing power and influence of the coal industry and the ever increasing damage done to forests by the changing climate. The narrative for the picture is written in the centre or the focus of the picture.  The text is printed in the same font as used in a dictionary, as if it is a direct copy/paste from the dictionaries authoritive text.  This ensures that the narrative or the desired message cannot be misinterpreted.

My latest series uses the post fire images of destruction to create a range of optical illusions which focus on the illusion of property ownership and its perceived permanence.  The Cubic forms created, represent a container of people’s lives and possessions – a home. The connection of adjacent boxes creates the sense of neighbourhood, community and shared realities.

What makes this exhibition so important people should go and see it?

I feel that Black Saturday touched everyone in Australia, with everyone coming together and forming an emotional and psychological bond.  The fires were a vivid image of the potential destructive powers of nature and an environment out of balance. This summer season has highlighted the new awareness, and changed people’s views on how to cope with a potential future fires.

The exhibition provides a portal through which we can view five different perspectives of an event that has touched each artist on a personal level.  The artists in the exhibition have each created works to stimulate, inform and encourage discussion through their own passionate expressions and concerns, not only for Black Saturday but for the environmental issues that will challenge us in the future.

Comments

2 Responses to “Werner Theinert – Field of View Artist”

  1. Leonie Ryan on February 11th, 2010 11:10 am

    Dear Werner, a very interesting interview. Congratulations! I thought your words were very insightful and I enjoyed reading about your healing process via art. I really like the concept of the containers and communities too.
    Well done and I look forward to seeing many more of your wonderful digital prints!
    Love Leonie xx

  2. Contemporary Visual Artist Interviews : Art Re-Source on June 23rd, 2010 11:33 pm

    […] Werner Theinert […]