Ian Tully: Future farming: The Mars Project
Saturday 18 May – Saturday 18 August 2019 | Margaret Carnegie Gallery
Image: Ian Tully, Farnley (detail) 2019. Photo courtesy the artist.
The ongoing Mars Project documents the research, development and trials undertaken on a farm somewhere in southern NSW. Facing a shifting climate, land and water degradation and a decline in services to the more isolated regions of rural Australia, the inherently creative and resourceful farmer pushes on, constructing his own models and prototypes of communication tools and other machinery in readiness for a new frontier.
"Ian has created a personal symbology of ceremony, discovery and pilgrimage. His sculptural works and performative enactments documented in video and photography, connect to ideas of communication and overcoming isolation in the Australian rural landscape. He achieves this with wry humour and an earnest perseverance. For decades, the idea that humans might one day colonise Mars seemed like an unrealistic pipe dream. But in recent years, with the advent of eccentric media-hungry billionaires, the concept has grown with increasing voracity.
In his new body of work Future Farming: The Mars Project, the artist’s seemingly irreverent responses to the environmental crisis are the product of years of reflection and an abiding respect for the land." - Claire Watson