After the success of 2017's, “How to Cut Your Losses and Make a Prophet - Seeing the Future and Making Money off It.” Guernsey born artist Andy Smith AKA Smithsonian Rösterino returns to the Gate House Gallery to exhibit his unique blend of collages, assemblages, digital media, paintings and mixed media installations. In this exhibition Rösterino addresses the subject of the climate and ecological emergency.
The exhibition title references John Steinbeck’s, 1961 novel ‘The Winter of our Discontent’ and the ‘The Winter of Discontent’ which was the period between November 1978 and February 1979 in the UK characterised by widespread strikes, exacerbated by the coldest winter in 16 years, in which severe storms isolated many remote areas of the country. The title also references The Umbrella Movement, which was a political movement that emerged during the 2014 Hong Kong protests.
Andy explains… “Steinbeck’s dark novel condemns the increasing materialism and social acceptance of dirty business practices that he saw infecting American society in the late 1950s as it moved from a values-based culture to a materialist one - this allegory is one still relevant today and is the root cause of the lack of climate action coming from our governments - they are simply putting selfish materialistic greed ahead of human life.”
All of the work on display responds directly to Andy’s experiences protesting on the streets with Extinction Rebellion and the wider impact of the climate and ecological crisis.
“Art has always acted as a mirror to the world; as we continue our descent into climate breakdown, we’re going to see more and more artists reflecting the social struggles we’re all increasingly facing on a day to day basis in the same way Picasso responded to the Spanish Civil War.”
The exhibition will feature examples of Andy’s complex hand-cut geometric collages alongside sound installations, video and assemblages made from found and recycled objects and materials.
“I have been experimenting with augmented reality and have been attempting to add additional audio and animated layers into the 2D collages that I’ve been producing - these are accessed via your smartphone and headphones - If all goes to plan the exhibition will feature some of these new works.”
In this exhibition Andy analyses his relationship with the climate movement and how it is policed. The new politics of the culture war has spawned a wealth of artists and activists who want to respond to a wide range of injustices, driving for positive change through art and creativity.
Andy states… “Meaningful artistic dialogue is just as important as the right to protest; culture helps shape humanity, communities can connect and unify through art which leads to empathy and empathy leads to justice. I really welcome healthy discourse around these subjects, so that we can understand the world in a different way and better understand ourselves and our place in it - art can inspire change.”
The Opening Night / Private View of the exhibition is on Friday 10th November: 6:30pm - 9:30pm and the Exhibition Continues / Meet the artist Saturday 11th November - Sunday 12th November: 10:00am - 5:00pm at the Gate House Gallery in the grounds of Elizabeth College, La Grange. You are encouraged to bring smart phones & headphones as some works have accessible audio content.