Dolphins in Venice, 2020-21
Pen, gouache, watercolour, pencil on paper
183 x 135 cm
At the beginning of the Corona virus pandemic there were lots of stories going around that the human lockdown was good news for nature: there were sightings of wild animals in big cities all over the world, and the sighting of dolphins and swans retaking the canals in Venice went viral. However, later these stories appeared to be fake and the dolphins were filmed off the coast in Sardinia, not Venice. People’s desperate desire to see some good coming out of the pandemic and the hope that nature is strong enough to recover, that no matter what we’ve done, nature is powerful enough to rise above it, appeared to be just that, hope and desire, but not true.
In the work there are dinosaur skeletons again, hugely popular since Jurassic Park in the 90’s, and blurring the lines between what is real, what is fantasy and what is extinct. My worry is that by the popularity of dinosaurs we imbed our children and ourselves with an acceptance of animal species going extinct, only living on in picture books and as plastic toys. The swimmer on the right is trying to swim with the dolphins, but her hands are covered in a black oil like substance, as in blood covering the hands of the guilty. At the top we see parts of skyscrapers in this unsustainable circle of life, whilst the sun is going down on us at the bottom. The snake at the bottom gets blamed for expelling us all from paradise whilst now snakes are going extinct themselves, thanks to us. In the middle there is a spine, referring to my own struggles back then with severe back pain, yet at the same time the spine is visually trying to hold this mess together.
〈 海豚在威尼斯〉, 2020-21
183 x 135 cm