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I had been collecting imagery from the internet with my head full of bad news. You know, economies collapsing, crooked politicians being more crooked, wars and overblown terrorist alerts, cops killing civilians, indigenous people thrown off their land, radioactive waste leaking into the sea, the climate change emergency, the failure of anybody to address this, the concentration of wealth to 1% of the population, poison in our food and the horrendous treatment of refugees around the world. Disaster Porn!
Meanwhile however, I looked out the window at some of the most beautiful country I had ever seen. Mountains and forests, birdsong and the sound of the river greeted me every morning. I was not ignoring this beauty, but it is not my job to copy nature and make attractive home décor objects. Rather, the challenge is to process the horror in some way, to make sense of the zeitgeist… more Goya than Matisse.
A series developed as winter set in, but more and more I considered the beauty of where I actually was, in stark contrast to the grim stories that the paintings were suggesting. I thought of the Gordian Knot story—an impossible knot to be untied—and painted a figure wrapped in tangled rope, standing by a fire that billowed black smoke.
On a public level, I want to rub up against contemporary contexts and place older mythological images into these. On a personal level, I guess I am attempting to balance all the gravitas with some goofiness and take the piss out of my own horror.
© 2019 by Cornelius DELANEY. All rights reserved