The Alpha Forest (2009)
The Alpha forest aims to depict the landscape of late Capitalism, which I have come to call a Dictatorship of individualism; a system who’s discourse uses mass media rhetoric’s and consumer conditioning to push an individual in a homogeneous and claustrophobic social landscape of human beings all desperately wishing to be seen, heard and respected from inside prison-like-lives. Inspired by my experiences within plantation woodlands, in which self-seeded saplings struggle to survive amidst the hegemony of generically shaped, straight pine trees, I have come to see this landscape as a metaphor for feelings of suffocation amidst the Capitalist hegemony, as one finds it impossible to escape its persuasions, convincing one to follow the designated routes. This is the realisation of Thatcherism/Reaganomics – the way which has been driven into our hearts like a stake and has taken over our lives since the demise of the industrial areas of old capitalism.
It goes without saying that we are economic slaves to this system, but this drawing depicts how we are also mental slaves to the system: our own dreams and motives are infiltrated and turned into personality assets which benefit capitalism and even bolster the legitimacy of its rule, creating the illusion that it is itself part of the natural order rather than an ideologically driven system. Now, at the beginning the 21st century, as most of world has devoted itself to the capitalist dream, the system is destined to result in catastrophe, as one species outdoes itself on a planet of finite resources; and if we carry on ‘business as usual’ this process is certain to become irreversible. The generic colour of the dying landscape, and the fossil-like remains of consumer waste within the pillar-like mounds standing at each end of the drawing, is supposed to suggest a relic of an already extinct species.