50 x1 50 x 4cm
edition 2 of 5
The 1998 film The Thin Red Line’s opening scenes are almost of a world as close to an Eden we could imagine. But in that tropical garden the camera glides past a tree being strangled by a vine, accompanied by the protagonist’s poetic soliloquy, “what’s this war in the heart of nature? Why does nature vie with itself? The land contend with the sea? Is there an avenging power in nature”? We come to realise we too are that ‘nature’.
Exodus works are about humans’ ability to mimic this paradox of nature, to both create and destroy, to bear life and take it, to build and to bomb. Much of my previous works are born out of the beauty found in internal abandoned or absent spaces, so these new works are from the ‘outer’ rather than the ‘inner’. They peruse the surfaces of buildings held within ravaged landscapes, caused not by the nature that surrounds us, but by the nature that is found within us.
We have had much chaos in our world, much pain and suffering, but I think inside all that, there is also tremendous beauty. We cannot know one without the other, or so nature teaches us. Out of war comes peace, for a time at least. We travel the world as tourists and visit the relics of the past, half standing castles, eroded churches and such, and look in awe at the beauty we both built and destroyed in our past. It is a kind of ad infinitum we are destined to repeat.
We build our world only to take it down again, and in that chaos vast populations of people are forced to move, to leave their homes, empty towns and cities abandoned of the life that once was. There is a romance held in the fallen, but it is one of tragedy, a poetry of tears and memories that drift away in time. Out of the rubble, they return and build again. Nature giveth, Nature taketh away…