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Martin Bastow

MA Fine Art

My interest concerns the absurd and melancholic, layered upon isolation and redundancy, as a consequence of the human condition, and it assumes that the self-satisfied hubris of the human ‘world bubble’ is a catastrophic illusion. My research also explores whether the anguish of our existence is dulled by relocating its content to the animal kingdom and has drawn on contemporary explorers of animal metaphor, such as George Rye, as well as historic,such as the Neanderthal cave painters whose fears and concerns were invested upon the animals around them.

During my search for a more contemporary version of aesthetic melancholia, I have become especially interested in our universal imperative to endure, which fuels our resistance to defeat and merges bliss with despair, as observed in comic form, in Ricky Gervais’s David Brent (The Office, 200I).

I have focused on migratory ungulates in Africa and large seabirds as metaphors for this endurance and have developed this in terms of the animals’ point of view thereby reversing the more common theriomorphism of ascribing human characteristics to animal behaviour. My ongoing interest in the virtually endless perspectives of flight I hope invites the viewer into an experience that is both immersive and out of body.

flight 1 1010

– Timeworm, 2015

museum 1010

– Mezzomezzo, 2015

flight 2 480

– Linger Longer, 2015

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