The next painting represents the climax of the series, a glimpse behind the pleasantries of the garden and into its visceral nature. Underground, housed in shoddily arranged glass terrariums, a horde of meager grasses are crowded together, their only light sources are artificial glows of red and green. The messy grid of tubes weave throughout this botanical population and lead upward to where their oppressors reside. Leading upwards, the tubes siphon the glowing vitality to the high echelon of power. Here the gigantic Hydnora Africana, the carnivorous ‘corpse’ plant, saps this vitality for it’s own purposes. Machine and Plant begin to merge, illustrating that these carnivorous oligarchs have turned towards a varying degree of cybernetic extensions for life support. In the foreground of the image looms a tower that cradels an infantile verison of the Hydnora. Away from the clustered underground masses, the baby Hydnora is nourished in privileged isolation and abundance. The young hydnora represents a new generation that will be sure to carry on this exploitation.
Many dystopian films’ portrayal of the future utilize a distinct lack of greenery in order to emphasize alienation of society from the natural world. In the botanical garden, this painting uses this aesthetic to show scarcity.
1970s films like Zero Population Growth and The Last Child sought to focus on overpopulation, the destruction of nature, and the exhaustion of natural resources as a cautionary tale. Both envision a future in which having children is made illegal to curb overpopulation and rampant pollution.
In the creation of my own overpopulation dystopia I fixated on the idea of procreation as a privilege reserved for the elite. This leads me to the idea of showing the young carnivorous plants bathing in the harvests of the masses.
The underground apparatus plugs into the crowded stacks of flower boxes. These stacked boxes are made to evoke a scene of impoverishment. Glowing and radiating upward to the surface, the output leads into the mouths and plugs of the overhead creatures. Here these hybrid oppressors squander both space and open air, resources that are almost nonexistent in the underground.
This piece deals with overpopulation, but it more explicitly is about class disparity and economic divide.
I Shift the color palate to burnt oranges and reds, to match the more energetic intensity of the piece. In the progression of the botanical garden tour, this piece is when the mysterious veil is lifted to show it’s ugly face. The picture shows a more direct and animated violence unfamiliar to the rest of the series. Here it is also revealed that the conical-fountain symbol (as shown in the second piece) is an idealized sculpture of this gluttonous carnivorous overlord.
|Type of Work||Painting|
|Dimensions||11 x 14 in.|
Rights: All Rights Reserved