This painting is about architecture, overpopulation, divisions with society and alienation. There have been several programmes on television highlighting the difficulties about the affordability of property. The world recession is a direct result of people borrowing more than they can afford in order just to feed and accommodate themselves and their families. This has resulted in homelessness for many people around the world and huge debts that world governments are now struggling to pay off. There have been winners in this situation and they are the corporations and a few members of the elite who have profited from the misery of thousands. Everyone I know has struggled during this recession. Many of my friends have been forced to go back to their countries of origin and have had to live in cramped conditions with families who are still lucky enough to have a home. I read in the following article: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/it-is-now-mathematically-impossible-to-pay-off-the-u-s-national-debt ; that although most people think the American government own the Federal Reserve that in fact they don’t. Apparently:

‘The Federal Reserve is a private bank owned and operated for profit by a very powerful group of elite international bankers.’

It also stated that it is now impossible to pay off the National debt. The result of this will be that we will all struggle even more in years to come unless these corporations share their money or a new system is set up to right these inequalities, neither of which I see as being likely.

I have also been viewing real estate programmes on the television where agents find people houses according to their budgets. A number of very small properties have been shown and it got me thinking about what it would be like in the future if this trend continues. I thought about the type of nightmare property which could be offered in the future and it appeared to me as a kind of ‘Matrix’ set up (as in the film ‘The Matrix’). I imagined it as not having any of the necessary requirements needed in order for it to be called a ‘home’. There is in my painting: no protection from the elements; there is no space for exercise; no room for friends, family or pets; no space for possessions or momentos, etc. My pod is a place of extreme alienation, where all the things we require, in order to have a nurturing environment, have been taken away. There are many in Social Science circles who say we are a product of our environment. I believe this to be true and what concerns me about our changing world is how we are going to adapt to this aspect of the human condition. There have been countless philosophers who have sort to find the sources of human happiness and contentment. Their discoveries have included: having friends, family and animals to assist and comfort them; having a comfortable, non threatening environment to live in, having meaningful employment, etc.   These sources lie in the areas which are being slowly taken away from us. Laws prevent us from meeting friends in groups. We are encouraged to spend our time in separate rooms from one another, watching different T.V programs (such as Sky’s new ‘Multi-room’ facility) or surfing the web. Our work is often repetitive, boring and serves corporations rather than ourselves or the needy (the best paid work can be found in the private, rather than the public sector). Those working in the public sector are being devalued and de-motivated. Short term financial gain is often highlighted as being more important than the quality of goods and services (Things break easily resulting in many of us feeling irritated that we have to constantly replace them).

My character in the painting is wearing clothing relating to the harlequin, showing the individuals ability to adapt. My character could be seen as a feminine male or a butch female. They could even be seen as some form of predatory animal. I have blurred these boundaries and the boundary of race. Who knows what kind of people we will become in the future. I have depicted an alcohol bottle to represent our society’s favourite way to escape social pressure. I don’t need to put statistics in, for you all know already the effects that this type of drug produces.

In the background I have depicted a sky made out of circles representing the cycles of life and formation of the universe. On the ground plane I have gone back to my expressionist roots regarding technique. I have depicted this part in a sad, cool blue and shown the areas of our world which sadden me – pollution, war, overpopulated ugly cities, the traffic ‘rat race’, etc. I have paid homage to Wolf Howard’s ‘Super Powerless’ hence, Spiderman can be seen on top of one of the skyscrapers. I included this to make a comment about fear and helplessness. My war scene is inspired by the way little boys often paint. It saddens me when I see these because it is as if they have been conditioned by society to fulfil their role not just as future protectors of society, but also as ‘canon fodder’ for the disputes of regimes. I feel that wars can be stopped, but they are not. Aggression is promoted in children’s T.V. programmes, in adult films, on the internet, in computer games. I sometimes wonder if we are being programmed to fight each other just to reduce the population. There are far better ways to control the population without harming individuals. A good education system and practical health care help would be beneficial. I remember reading about President Bush junior’s abstinence scheme in Africa. He pulled out of providing medical care and contraceptive services, in favour sending people to Africa to tell them not to have sex. This seems both absurd and cruel. ‘The will to live’ is so strong and our sexual drive is so strong that telling people not to have sex is ineffectual. Who are we as individuals to dictate our beliefs on others? While I believe we should all be entitled to hold our own beliefs, I believe that it’s about time we respected each other and cared for each other regardless of differences. By hurting others we are hurting ourselves.   This is a global world now and in order for our species to survive we have to awaken and work together to resolve the problems that effect us all.