Run With The Hunted
We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in. For it can be a means of reassuring ourselves of our sanity as creatures, a part of the geography of hope.
This 2012 painting hangs in the stairwell in my house. I walk past it numerous times every day, and it never fails to catch my eye and remind me of something important. Not because it’s a fabulously realised painting, but because of the subject matter. Followers of my work over hte years may have detected a move away from humans to animals as subjects, and while that might have been an unconscious transition it was not an accident. The acceleration of species extinction through man’s reckless looting of the planet’s resources means many of the creatures I paint and draw could be gone within a single human generation. If such devastation happened overnight we’d be appalled, but as it’s happening at a rate that in our hyper-accelerated Western culture seems slow, then no-one really notices. In cosmic terms though, that timescale is the blink of an eye. Last night we were watching Star Trek, the J.J. Abrams “reboot” of the “franchise” from 2009, and my daughter was visibly upset by the depiction of earth in the 23rd century. “There’s no green,” she said. Everything has been reduced to the state of brownfield, upon which massive man-made structures could be erected as a testament to some kind of “progress” I suppose. But what she was really appalled about was that with the loss of “green” goes all the animals in it. All of them. Including, eventually, us.