Andy Vagg is an artist, writer, poet and performer. His art practice explores the qualities and limitations of contemporary existence, and how the choices we make inherently effect, respond to, and delineate social evolution. He creates work in social contexts, to activate spaces to form literal and metaphorical platforms for the development of ideas to encourage positive social change. His work utilises post consumer materials and objects, and forms installations, sculptures and objects. Andy has created work in public and private spaces in Newcastle, Sydney, Melbourne, Launceston and Hobart. He has collaborated with community in colleges, high schools, primary schools, community centres, and child and family centres.
Through his written and spoken word he challenges the veracity of popularism, colonial history, and the myth of the Land we also know as Australia. His performances explore the role of liturgy and ritual in a contemporary secular context, and how they can help us come to terms with the increasing anxiety caused by the rapid changes that are transforming our environment. In 2003 Glenn Albrecht described this as solastalgia, a form of psychic or existential distress caused by environmental change, such as mining or climate change. Andy correlates this with the plight of the British diaspora, forced from the British Isles through the rapid changes brought on by Industrialisation, forcing many into poverty and crime, as their centuries old way of living from the Land was devastated.
Photograph by Paul Hoelen