Monday, March 19, 2007

urban wildlife

the other week i went to see christopher campbell's 'epoch' exhibition.

the blurb says: "Epoch is a series of paintings that follow a theme of ambiguous storytelling. They depict England awash in a pseudo apocalyptic environment. Views of suburbia swathed in epic disturbing light deserted by man. Animals venture into view, horses and livestock normally tethered or penned in roam brazenly. Wildlife encroaches from the shadows, Deer unabashed stand in plain sight, almost ‘posing’ in the middle of what would normally be a busy street.

While the animal kingdom is foraging or just lauding their supremacy. The question of what has happened to the unfortunate previous inhabitants of these brick and tarmac colonies remains. There are clues, epic gargantuan atmospheric skies tell of what has possibly caused such an event, and left a path for new masters to flourish. It is these clues that suggest radioactivity or a geo climatic shift that politicises and socialises the context of these paintings.

The eradication of the human strain in these realist paintings is born from a pulp of source material, with books, such as ‘The Day Of The Triffids’ and ‘On The Beach’ and films ‘Twelve Monkeys’ and ‘28 Days Later’

The scenes are suggestive, tell a yarn of something that has yet to be written, something that may never exist. The paintings are improbable but not impossible. The aim of this exhibition is create a world that is fantastical, beautiful, yet darkly disturbing."

some of the pics are available here.

i managed to time my visit smack-bang in the middle of a creative writing workshop that they were holding, based on the artwork, so missed a few of the paintings in fear of tripping over desks and landing headfirst in someone's notebook. i found it a bit hit-and-miss - some of his stuff really grabbed me, other pieces did absolutely nothing for me.

one that i *did* like, though, was 'new dawn':

and, in the way that these things do, life started imitating art (a little bit).
i've seen foxes in the middle of town, badgers in someone's garden, the whole urban wildlife thing doesn't surprise me that much. or didn't.
on my way home from work last week, i saw a peacock wandering the streets. in the middle of a housing estate in the suburbs of bradford.

who on earth loses a peacock??

my mind is boggling.


Anonymous Jim Bliss said...

I have to say, Christopher Campbell's work looks right up my street. In fact, it's not too dissimilar to the photographs I used to do... black and white images of urban decay with unhealthy looking red skies added in photoshop.

I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for him in future.

3:52 pm  
Anonymous *shattered star said...

I liked 'visitors to the estate'-- something about finding a glimmer of beauty in the darkness.

10:49 am  
Blogger drphunk said...

Nice to see you back writing. I'll email you soonish.


8:57 pm  

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