Saturday, November 29, 2014

Home on the Mortgage Belt

As I work towards my Solo Exhibition in February 2015 it is perhaps not surprising that the work is increasingly feeling auto-biographical. When I started employing the pig motif, it was a response to a growing sense of immersion in a culture of greed and selfishness. Money troubles were big both  at home and on the world stage. Design and detailing projects I was engaged with had become very adversarial, leaving me feeling as though I were constantly threatened and fighting to make it through intact. Our domestic costs continued to soar; food, electricity, petrol, rates; meanwhile, our income was stagnant or at times sharply decreasing. Surrounded, targeted and under assault from every angle.

The first little split pig captured the idea of consumer as resource. We are targeted for our purchasing potential, locked into contracts, encouraged to increase consumption and seemingly trapped in a cycle of increasing costs. Meanwhile the freedom of choice, if not totally illusory in the fist instance, is continuously eroded. Social inertia, peer pressure and cultural acceptance all have a role to play and may be resisted but add to this the sophistication of marketing programs, corporate driven government regulation (or deregulation) and outright corruption and it's easy to imagine we have few real choices at all.

This latest iteration strengthens the personal connection I have to that earlier idea. It resolves the sense that I am in, of but also somehow outside and looking in at the culture of consumption.

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