Gotterdammerung

2020 — current

The lust for power, the grasp at power and the cost of power.

Humanity has for thousands of years been on quest for power. Think of great conquerors like Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, and more modern states like Napoleon’s France, the British Empire and the Nazi regime. Whether individuals or nation states, the unquenchable thirst for power has shaped nation states.

Today, with territorial conquerors are mostly in abeyance, the drive for power has moved from the battlefield to boardroom and from palace to parliament. But humanity’s quest for power is part of our nature. It cannot be changed, however the consequences of that power are exemplified in our world.

The real damage being done in man’s desire for power and control is environmental destruction and resultant social discord. This is a worldwide problem. Collective arrogance and a sometimes carefree attitude will inevitably lead to environmental breakdown.

Gotterdammerung is based on our lust for power, the selfish means by which we obtain it and the brutal, unforgiving consequences of our actions.

Flourish

2022 Oil on Canvas 500mm x 1000mm

Flourish represents energy and motion that passes through the body and provides vibrance and grace to humanity. The white ‘flourish’ passes through the figure sparking life- which until this point has not been present. This is explained through the lack of life in the painting up until the critical moment- there is no greenery, no lush foliage. It is dead and barren, and now that life has been sparked into being, life can begin anew.

Ghosts of indecision

2022 Oil on Canvas 750mm x 1000mm

The heavy burdens we carry throughout life and the regret and sorrow we constantly bear is manifested in this painting with a despairing figure, clearly weighed down. The darkness of his surroundings is an outward manifestation of what the figure is experiencing.
However all is not lost. The snakes represent rebirth and have provided a light in the darkness of life and growth and opportunity. Even is the depths of despair, there is always something to light the way.

The end of Gaia

2021 Oil on Canvas 600mm x 900mm

Visually represented through the Titans of Greek mythology, Gaia, the mother of Earth is dead. Atlas, who holds up the heavens and the world, is  left carrying what is left of Earth- barren, brown and lifeless, with Gaia strewn across his lap.

The red & gold patterned drapery represent the blood and the riches extracted from the planet by humanity, causing the state of affairs depicted in the painting. The work is not without hope, as the circle of life surrounding the Titans suggest that not all is lost.

Eternal

2020 Oil on Canvas 500mm x 1000mm

Birth, growth, decay and death are all dictated by time which is the overarching theme in this painting. The snake eating its own tail is the universal visual representation of rebirth and destruction- ‘ouroboros’ as it is more commonly known. The figure is becoming a statue, which is starting to decay and age. The hour glass and the skull represent time and death and the flowers and foliage growth and rebirth. The painting is a continuous cycle from a macro and micro point of view- an extension of ‘ouroboros’.