Otago Polytechnic

Mark Bolland's images challenge our thinking about our environment and our impact on it.

You don't have to be a scientist to realise we're on the cusp of a tipping point; polar bears and tigers may be extinct in the wild when artist Mark Bolland's daughter grows up. Mark's recent work has explored how we see the world around us, including the commodification of landscape in New Zealand, and the ways that mankind has physically and in some ways permanently altered our world. Art enables Mark to say something, just to get people thinking rather than to communicate a specific message. He experiences the same issues, but removes himself slightly to examine things, and hence can provide others with a different perspective.

"We're rational beings, we prioritise information, but aesthetic experience isn't rational, we can't reduce it to a soundbite, it's intellectual and emotional and specific to a time and place and moment." We bring all our cultural experiences to bear in interpreting art, and Mark has used some common historical reference points to contribute to this process. 

"The nature of aesthetic experience is that it's intangible" Mark says, "but when I see good work I know that I'm different, it's changed me somehow." His hope is that his own work gives people an experience that changes them in some way, and also that it makes them think twice about what the pictures are about.  "Art is not for everyone, but it is for anyone."

Links

NATURAL & BUILT ENVIRONMENT

May 2017

Image credit: Mark Bolland, used with permission