No Planet B

  • No Planet B
  • No Planet B
  • No Planet B
  • No Planet B
  • No Planet B

Dale Copeland
‘No Planet B’
Assemblage on turntable
340 x 340 x 390mm

“Burned-out candle of philosopher .... the sages who spoke the truth, but nobody listened. Our earth, melting on a candlestick. Hourglass on clock face. Souvenir bottle of Maui crude oil, made important by the ornate Chinese frame. And underneath, the students whose future we've compromised. The small model of our darling planet is impaled on a candlestick (made from kitchenware) with wax dripping from under it.

I'd been given the wax candle in the shape of an ancient sage. His head had burned away so I replaced it with a candle stump.

I'd had three souvenir bottles of Maui crude oil for ages, used one in an assemblage about the damage done by fracking, and this one puts oil on a pedestal, so important to our easy life and our economy. And for far too long we've valued those over the planet that sustains it all. The choice of a Chinese frame around the oil is not accidental.

And the hourglass. I had a lovely big brass hourglass, and I wanted people to be able to turn it over, set it going. It looked good, but it didn't survive. Fixed to the base by a small chain, loose enough so you could turn the hourglass over. But that meant it was loose enough to ... you guessed it ... slide off and smash the glass part. I was sad, it was a lovely thing. But I think the assemblage has improved. The replacement hourglass is smaller - we've got less time - and you can't reset it. There's no going back. It's fixed on top of a clock face.

And underneath, in perspex cylinders, are photos of protesting students, and their admirable leader Greta Thurnberg.

We can, and should, apologise to the young.
I wish we could do more.”

Dale Copeland describes herself as a mathematician-turned-artist. The one time head of a college maths and physics department and freelance computer programmer, Copeland, at the age of forty-three opted for a new lifestyle devoted to art and motherhood. She is now a 6th Dan black belt in Taekwon-Do and is still training regularly. Dale has often been referred to as the back bone of the Taranaki arts community, she is currently the driving force behind the artist collective called Virtual TART which shows their work online through the Virtual TART site In 2012 Dale was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the arts. Dale lives at Puniho with painter Paul Hutchinson.


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