The frog and the crane (The end of the world), 2012
Graphite and oil on paper, 100 x 70 cm
The end of the world is a profound concept and one that can be interpreted in several different ways. The world is surely as much a personal experience and will end in many individual moments. In this project I am addressing the personal end of the world, which most people fear above all else, and have adopted animal forms to depict it.
My representation of the end of the world started yesterday, with a frog that held on to life for every last moment. No calendar was needed: the frog was instinctually aware of survival yesterday and would have been instinctually aware tomorrow. The image shows the futility of the everyday fear of the apocalypse and the natural state of ‘holding on’ of surviving.
I find it interesting that, as part of the animal kingdom, we allow ourselves to speculate on concepts such as the ‘end of the world’. Either from a spiritual or physical viewpoint, the fact of entire annihilation goes hand in hand with our own precarious perch upon nature. The real personal apocalypse is instinctually ingrained in any survival instinct. As animals, we have the natural survival instinct that all the animal kingdom possesses. However, in our constructed societies we do not feel the natural fear of being hunted or the real threat of lack of resources. So we create them, or replace them with modern equivalences.
As we, as a species, have sort to find increasingly self-important means to severe the bond with nature, we need to replace the void where a more real survival instinct used to be. This need has been used to empower social, religious and political constructs and has given rise to much speculation as to how it will all end. Now we have the means to make this stereotyped apocalypse a reality and we thrive upon its fear.
The end of things on any level is an inevitability. This preoccupation makes for great media, self-congratulates us on our meagre understanding of our environment and yet does not seem to really make anyone change.
This artwork was selected for the Project 2012 – End of the World exhibition, London, Mile End Art Pavillion, December 2012