‘Thriving like an advanced species in a neutral atmosphere’ is a title coined from J. G. Ballard’s novel High Rise. I wanted to create a painting that depicted the omnipresence and scale of the estate’s towers, which when I was a child felt huge and gargantuan. I also wanted to ‘deify’ the architecture and its symbolism and quest for utopia. Through a process of erasure and overpainting the original figurative drawings are ‘knocked back’ with multiple layers of white to create the neutral atmosphere referenced in the title. The final surface layer of the painting is then covered with cascading typography, a reference to my past and the importance of allegory and storytelling in my work.
Thriving like an advanced species in a neutral atmosphere, 2018, oil on canvas, 180 x 160cm. Private Collection.
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