James Powditch
Controversy & Acclaim - Sixty yeas of the Mosman Art Prize

Katrina Cashman

Butterfly Effects, 2007, mixed media

James Powditch is an artist in the Mosman Art Collection who's work perhaps best encapsulates the eclectic nature of contemporary painting practice. Powditch's Butterfly Effects, (2007) is a tour de force and work of great confidence. The artwork title refers to the famous paper by scientist Edward Lorenz in 1972, on the "Butterfly Effects", the chaos theory posing the concept that the flapping of a butterfly's wings in the Amazon, can cause a tornado in Texas. Powditch's works have a strong environmental message, with a particular concern for the issues of global warming. His assemblage includes photographs of Australian bungalows, sections of wooden packing crates, pages from a Penguin book of Modern Chinese history which together form the substrate for his emblematic painted image of a large Brazilian butterfly. As art critic John McDonald has noted, in this work Powditch is saying that: "even our smallest actions can contribute to the degradation or salvation of the planet... this kind of message gives the work a strong political dimension".


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