Warwick Heywood: Painting the Anthropocene’s Agitated Physicality

20 Oct 2021 from 12:00am - 19 Dec 2021 until 12:00am

Warwick Heywood

This PhD research project responds to the severe 2017-2020 Eastern Australia drought and bush fires and the idea of the Anthropocene — a theory that our human impact on the Earth System is devastatingly immense and enduring. Reflecting on the extremes of these climatic events Heywood begun a larger speculative investigation and imagination of the Anthropocene’s “agitated physicality”.

This project self-consciously represents the Anthropocene through painting’s materials, processes and visual traditions, including painterly abstraction. The formalist, deconstructionist, spiritual and sublime projects of High Modernism and postmodernism, become a potent language through which to detect and explore the present. Heywood sets out to create a conceptual, cognitive space to pose questions, form comparisons, and create rich metaphors and analogies through paint. The key representation that emerges through his work is an Anthropocene as a bizarre overactive and out of control experiment, where our physical world, at macro and micro scale, is being pushed to greater and more dynamic extremes.

Due to the current COVID-19 health restrictions, Watt Space gallery is open by appointment only. Please contact us at wattspacegallery@newcastle.edu.au to book your private gallery viewing.

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.