Jan Cleveringa

Listening to Trees

The “Listening to Trees” series is an exploration of the interconnectedness between humanity and the natural world. Through the lens of sustainability, the series becomes a collaborative visual dialogue, where the environment speaks in mark-making patterns and gestures to us, and later the artist responds by disrupting the conversation and reorganizing these natural forms into a new order. This process is a metaphor for the human condition, reflecting our impact on the natural world and our attempts to find harmony and order within it. It invites us to engage not just as observers but as participants in a larger conversation recognising our egocentric place in the world. It is a call to action to live more mindfully and sustainably.

Furthermore, critically and purposively in the contemporary, the artworks also beg various questions, such as, experimentation, performance & collaboration, process art, plein air Australian landscape painting, cultural context, action painting, gesture and accident, assemblage, perspective, the readymade, abstraction, use of materials, a digital gaze, the grid matrix, mathematic fractals, disruption and climate action, naming a few of the multiple interconnected signifiers in these works.

Jan Cleveringa (b. 1969, Sydney) is a conceptual, multidisciplinary artist exploring the impact of global cultural change in society and in particular about how we relate to our contemporary society, sustainability and environment. He makes several unique bodies of artwork including painting, drawing, installation, sculpture and often experiments while using both traditional and recycled materials and mediums. His “Listening to Trees” artworks are a major series over the last several years.

Cleveringa graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree (1992) majoring in Psychology and Political Science at the University of Sydney, Australia. He also studied Painting in a Bachelor of Visual Arts Degree (1992-95) at Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney. He has a Master’s Degree in Management from the University of Technology, Sydney.

In 2021 he won the Lake Light Sculpture Prize, Jindabyne, NSW, Australia; the 2019 Eden Unearthed Art Prize, Eden Gardens NSW, Australia; and the 2019 Scenic Sculpture Environment Prize, Scenic World, Blue Mountains NSW, Australia. In 2016 Cleveringa was awarded the Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre Creative Arts Fund Grant for new experimental work in painting. Cleveringa has also been awarded several community and public art project commissions and artist residencies.