Monday, February 01, 2016


Mass Exodus Gouache and watercolour on paper 30 x 42 cm 2016

I've been thinking about the future. I know most people say we must live in the present, but I like to think about the far distant future too. 

I've previously painted images that 'speak' about an exodus of humanity from planet Earth.Whilst it does not take up all my thinking space, I do wonder about how, why and when exodus might take place...if at all. 

Some questions I ask are:
  • Will it be an exodus of necessity? If so, will it be because we humans have 'stuffed' planet Earth to the point of needing to escape it? Or, will there be an ordered and well thought through exodus to avoid the effects of the sun's demise and resultant solar system collapse?
  • If we need to escape before a planned and thought through process was undertaken, how do we choose who gets to go? Will a situation of 'the chosen' occur? That could get ugly!
  • If we escape in the far distant future will humans be recognisable as human or will we have morphed into posthuman modes of being either through biological mutation or assisted augmentation ie: artificial intelligence, downloading of minds and other introduced human-altering processes?
  • If and when we escape the demise of the Earth, how do we get to our chosen new planetary home in a far distant alternative solar system? I mean it will take a looooong time to get there, unless we've developed new speed-of-light transport systems. Or, maybe when we escape it's actually as some kind of mixture of DNA, and other additions deemed appropriate, that can be activated upon arrival at our new planetary home. Who or what would do the activating...robots of course! Then they'd be the nursemaids...just imagine!
  • What if other beings live on our chosen new home...and they don't want us? 
  • Or maybe as the sun starts its progressive deterioration, we develop extremophile   characteristics that prolong our habitation of planet Earth until it's just not viable. Then we return to the stars from which we came? 
 Now to my new painting Mass Exodus. 

So, what was I thinking about when I painted this image? All of the above actually. Plus, thoughts about the mass exodus of people from the Middle East and Africa. Yes, mass exodus here on Earth right now! 

Mass exodus is about life on the move, life escaping drastic situations, life trying to re-establish itself somewhere else, life severing ties to the known, homes left abandoned. It's about treacherous journeys. It's also about those who welcome or don't welcome strangers. It's about change.

In my new painting, I've taken  what is hopefully seen as positive spin on life leaving planet Earth...or maybe the small blue dot is symbolic of home, whether it be a house, a country or a planet? The colourful tree-of-life that emanates from the small blue dot signifies that leaving is perhaps part of the process of life. Like a tree in the forest, it reaches to it highest point. Over years its seeds are blown about in the wind, to land on new soil. Sometimes new growth occurs and sometimes not. I'll leave you there...I am sure you can see where my mind was going when I painted Mass Exodus.



Thursday 4th February
'Space and Popular Culture'

Panel: Me, Dr. Sarah Jane Pell, Josh Richards 
with facilitator Dr. Alice Gorman
Public Event


A recent interview with me for the REMIX Project looking at Queensland ARI Heritage 1980 - 2000


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