More than 30 people have attended the opening of the ‘SOS: Message in a Bottle’ exhibition at the Cannery Arts Centre on Saturday evening, July 14.
The exhibit of works from former Esperance resident and artist Larry Youngson, which will run from July 14 until August 10, aims to go beyond the realm of realism and stimulate the senses.
The exhibition features earlier works from Mr Youngson as well as a strong message for the public on the significant impact of plastic waste on the natural environment.
“The older you get, the more you realise how the arts have the ability to deliver messages regarding issues within our community and worldwide and this is the reason I’ve taken this on and pushed to make people more aware of the plastics in the ocean,” he said.
“I’ve always had an affinity with the ocean, I’ve surfed and sailed nearly all of my life, so I do feel very strongly about this particular issue.
“Plastic pollution has always been a high property problem for our planet, marine scientists keep revealing to us that the oceans of the world are now reaching a toxic threshold; it’s [plastic] all throughout our oceans and affecting our wildlife.
“We have many issues across the globe today but, to me, this is one that really needs to be addressed.”
Mr Youngson said many artists had begun incorporating plastics in their works in a bid to educate the public and prompt change.
“The old cliché about thinking locally and acting globally I think is something that will greatly help the issue over time,” he said.
“You’ll find globally that many artists are now incorporating plastics into their art work and that really is sending a great message to the general public.
“You can only hope that it will help educate and solve a lot of the issues we’re experiencing today.”
Mr Youngson said returning to the region brought back fond memories and felt like coming home.
“Being back in Esperance brings back many fond memories, I look around the room and I see many people I’ve had good times with,” he said.
“It’s been around three or four years since I’ve been back but it’s always like coming home.”
Mr Youngson also commended the work of those responsible for the operations at the centre, which was originally built as a Fish Cannery in 1949.
“I’m also really happy to see a young crew take on the Cannery and really making a big effort,” he said.
“I love this place, I put a fair bit of energy into this place and I think that, of all the places that I have exhibited, this has a really special character to it.
“I find many galleries to be a bit sterile but I find that, because of its history, it’s got that bit of character.
“It’s a beautiful building and I hope it will always be here.”
Mr Youngson is expected to hold a Beginner-Master class painting and acrylics workshop in Esperance on Tuesday, August 7, and encouraged those of all ages and skill levels to attend.
For more information, visit www.canneryartscentre.com.au/exhibitions