Lizzie Buckmaster Dove

S O L A S T A L G I A 2013

5 – 23 November, 2013
NG Art Gallery
3 Little Queen St
Chippendale, Sydney

 

Solastalgia is a haunting word, with its echoes of melancholia, yearning, pain and anxiety. 

Coined by philosopher Glenn Albrecht only 10 years ago, solastalgia describes the existential distress of human beings when they can no longer derive solace from a beloved home environment, because that environment is recognised as being under threat of “physical desolation”. Professor Albrecht has defined solastalgia in its simplest terms as “the homesickness you have when you’re still at home”.

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Solastalgia is a haunting word, with its echoes of melancholia, yearning, pain and anxiety.

Coined by philosopher Glenn Albrecht only 10 years ago, solastalgia describes the existential distress of human beings when they can no longer derive solace from a beloved home environment, because that environment is recognised as being under threat of “physical desolation”. Professor Albrecht has defined solastalgia in its simplest terms as “the homesickness you have when you’re still at home”.

There are all kinds of threats to security on Earth. Violence. Famine. Poverty. One of the most pervasive threats to our sense of trust in domestic safety is environmental degradation. We try to suppress it, but we sense with an aching heart that our beautiful and plentiful planet is changing. A collective anxiety about our sense of place is emerging.

Buckmaster Dove lives in the NSW south coast hamlet of Coledale. As a daily walker in the littoral zone below her house, Buckmaster Dove can pick up the evidence of the changing environment — small pieces of plastic debris washed up by the tides on rocks or beach.

Buckmaster Dove collects and sorts these battered industrial travelers. Meticulously placed in tins and labelled with the moon-phase that pulled them to shore, the bottle tops, clips and sundry other discards are transformed into scientific offerings. It’s as though an archaeologist a thousand years from now had recovered the plastic remnants, and marveled over the evidence of a world in which so much was sacrificed for such fleeting luxuries as bottled water and plastic toys.

In Buckmaster Dove’s respect and tenderness for the meticulous assemblage of her finds, there is hope that we care enough to make change. Without waving placards or shouting into a megaphone, Buckmaster Dove quietly reminds us that home is precious and can not be taken for granted.

 

Elizabeth Fortescue, Arts Writer, 2013