What Matters Was Their Existence

The mystical stature of being an artist leads to a form of persecution by a society that still feels the need to 'burn the heretics'. If an artist is expected to behave like a deity, and survive off their worshipping subjects, they will and do go hungry in a world that values their mysticism over the mundane reality of their creative craft; with bills to pay. For there is an expectation that it is necessary to wade through desolation to create a folklore of greatness from the struggle that happens before their post-mortem recognition. The value is then retrospectively applied when the art can no longer be produced, and the realisation of what has been lost from the world is noticed. The mystical tap has been switched off. Then the art becomes how much can be drained before it turns rancid with greed, resurrected by nostalgia, or simply fades away as the artist's second death. 

 

Paint Me Like Your Oranges

An orange-based narrative of Brexit (Britain leaving the EU). The colour itself takes inspiration from anger (red) and fear (yellow), as shown in the internal border that divides 'Brexiters' and 'Remainers'. Oranges are also used symbolically to represent the trade negotiations and the 'barriers between borders', because they benefit from the protectionist economic policies in the EU.

 

This Obedience

The title, which is uncertain in meaning when spoken - (dis)obedience - becomes clear when written, highlighting the discrepancy between obedience and disobedience; between the written and unwritten rules we follow.

 

Idle Hands

Idle Hands explores the surrealism of COVID-19 during the 'Great Pause'. The 'found subjects' are isolated and stripped of their ordinary context and viewed instead by their positive and negative connotations of their associated idioms. Thereby contrasting the visual surface with a deeper meaning that lies beneath in how we interpret and perceive idleness.

 

RE: Confinement and Escapism

This collection is envisaged as a reply all email, or an open letter in response to the COVID-19 outbreak in terms of the personal, economic, environmental, social and observational commentary expressed. It also relates to confinement, and reconfinement, as the most widely adopted measure used to control the virus, and our digital escapism from the isolation of the physical world. The experiences of a pandemic localised to the region of Andalusia are explored, which along with the rest of Spain, was greatly affected by and imposed some of the strongest restrictions in response to the global pandemic.

 

Misplaced Trust in a Managed Wilderness

We see ourselves as architects of our environment who are able to shape and mould it to our designs and ambitions. We have insulated ourselves from the baseline effects of global environmental change within our constructed habitats. However, nature can only be held at bay for so long. The cracks are already starting to widen as we try to save our home. 

 

Market Value

Local markets are still standing tall, as a central pillar of some communities, but their foundations are diminishing under the weight of convenience. A growing trend towards the everyday consumption of everything at once. Marketed as cheap and fast, or as the fuel for the capitalist fire sale, where the local market's value is flattened under the momentum of a globalised monolith.

 

Linger in the Cold of a Fading Sun

The modern cities are immature and crave our attention, but the ancient seas have earned their status of worship. We make the pilgrimage to stand, kneel and prostrate ourselves before the sea. Experiencing the spiritual properties of healing, whether through the salty touch of the water, or circulated by the sea air bellowing into the chambers of our lungs. Together in these intergenerational congregations that celebrate the sea from the surrounding land.

 

With the Other Animals

Being human is to be an animal, and yet we see ourselves differently to the other animals. We live in an age categorised by the moralistic and environmental consequences of our influences on these other animals. There is a tendency to want to anthropomorphise "status" animals to make them appear more like us as pets, given extrinsic value as livestock, seen negatively as vermin, patronised in zoos or become something collectable.

 

Metronome for Good Conversations

Smoking is deeply embedded within the Classic Hollywood cinematic style, but intentionally so, as it was heavily sponsored to appear like a feature length advert of being associated with characters exhibiting the traits of being 'cool'. Cinematic smoking, plays a role in the dialogue itself, as it punctuates speeches with drawn out pauses, during the breaths and exhaultations, which in turn acts like a metronome for good conversations. Inspired by these films, a present day reality is displayed like stills from this bygone era.

 

Pasar la Noche en Blanco

Pasar la noche en blanco (spend the night in white) is a colloquial Spanish expression, meaning not to have slept the night before. This is a fitting description for the sleepless nights of Semana Santa in Jerez de la Frontera, and some of the penitentes who spend their days and nights dressed in white.

 

Jaleo

Jerez de la Frontera is seen as the crib of Flamenco music, and the people living there embrace this pure and authentic art form with their everyday life. Jaleo literally translates as 'hell-raising' and is the term used for the gestures, expressions and clapping that accompanies (and can bring the audience into) the performance.