June 11, 2020

Are Apocalyptic Imaginings Historical Myth, or will we soon be the Authors of our own Dystopia?

Hannah Absalom, 21

My paintings are an investigation into the infiltration of Judeo-Christian dogma, mythology and iconography upon Western art, and its fundamental influence on the aesthetics of the grotesque and the horror genre. My current body of paintings, /HYPNAGOGIA/ present classical yet surreal interpretations of apocalyptic dystopias within the framework of contemporary social, political, and environmental concerns. The idea of ‘apocalypse’ is ancient, spanning time, culture, and geography, each generation believing they will be subjected to it through collective thought. My paintings invokes memories of these universally imbedded myths by drawing upon recognisable religious imagery and mirroring the artistic styles of Byzantium and the Renaissance. The characters present within the paintings are without identity, apocalyptic prophets of sorts, bearing warning upon their viewers, without the judgement of didacticism often present within theological thinking. To believe that the foretold ‘end-times’ will be experienced in your lifetime may require a certain grand narcissism which lurks in the shadows and feeds on the anxieties of every generation, however, this painting was made at the end of 2019, and with the closely following events of 2020, such grandiose ideas certainly seem a little less obscene than before.

/HYPNAGOGIA/, 2019Oil paintings on stretched canvas1500 x 1800 mm, 1500 x 1800 mm, 1500 x 1800mm, 1870 x 610mm