Here I am. My name is Mike Southern and I am a printmaker and painter living life on the edge of the Pacific Rim. Out here in the Antipodes you are far away from the rest of the world. In fact, New Zealand is one of the most isolated countries on earth. We are over 1300 miles from Australia, the only major landmass in this part of the world. It is an area of the world known more for its' vast expanses of ocean than for the occasional island chain that breaks up the long blue horizon. This is the heart of the Roaring Forties, an area of the southern hemisphere between 40 degrees and 50 degrees south latitude known to sailors for its strong prevailing westerly winds and often treacherous conditions. It is a temperamental landscape with volcanoes, dramatic peaks, fjords, glaciers and rugged coasts. The recent 2010 Christchurch earthquake is a testament to the youth and fickleness of the land. However, the broad expanses of uninhabited wilderness and low population density also make this one of the most stunningly wild and beautiful places on the planet. And I am here.
This project will see the creation of a body of artwork thematically tied to my time in the Roaring Forties. It is a reference to a time (life in my forties) and a place (The Roaring Forties of the South Pacific). I will travel throughout the island and draw, etch and paint places that have the quintessential elements of this time and this place. Practically speaking this will involve landscape etchings, paintings and drawings with the occasional figurative element creeping in. Historically and inevitably, with dramatic life changes come changes in my artwork. Moving here to the South Pacific from Portland, Oregon in August of 2009 was certainly a dramatic life change so I am sure surprises are lurking somewhere out here in the Roaring Forties.
The etchings I produce will be in editions of 40. I am giving the project 40 days to reach my funding goal. Hopefully, the project will be finished in 40 days, but that might be wishful thinking. I am trying to be true to the theme in as many ways as possible. The sponsorship funds will be for travel expenses across the South Island and for purchasing the copper, paper and all the other art supplies needed for this body of work. I also plan to have special slip cases built for the etchings which will be a hefty expense as well. Things are expensive out here so a project of this scope will need all the help it can get. I really appreciate you having a look at this project and do hope you are able to contribute what you are able. Tika Hoki.
- (40 days)