Monday, June 25, 2012

Behaving with grace and intelligence

Art is really large with the billboard by Steven Geise installed near Woodburn on the Pacific Highway. The very graphic work uses the instantly recognised colours and style of road signs. Behave with Grace and Intelligence references famous Australian artist Rosalie Gascoigne.

The edict like statement is presented by the artist to elicit a strong effect. The statement 'Behave with grace and intelligence' is direct and mysterious, didactic and ironic - all at the same time. I am sure there are many questions being raised by passing motorists.

The artist has purposely used yellow and black to give it authority and used minimal and poetic language to provoke thought about 'something profound, to promote an idea that is beyond politics and religion, an idea that has universal acceptance. It is also an aspiration for our distracted lives.'

Steven Geise, who lives and works in Clunes, near Bangalow, says, 'Edicts such as this have been used throughout history to influence the behaviour of people. The earliest were possibly archaeological pieces such the Rosetta Stone or the edicts of King Ashoka in India. More recently artists such as Jenny Holzer and Barbara Kruger have used language for effect in both private and public spaces. Australian artist Rosalie Gascoigne used the strategy of text on a yellow background for a great visual effect.'

The Art at Large project is a multi-site billboard project that presents a significant opportunity for artists to display their work in a high profile format outside the gallery walls. The project has been running since early 2011 and showcases the work of artists on billboards along the highways of the valley and surrounding regions.

Details of all the billboards included in the project and their locations is available on the Grafton Regional Gallery website at  The Art at Large project is possible through the support of the Clarence Valley Council and Arts NSW.

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