Politics & Issues

Click on an image to see an enlargement - you can then use the 'backward/forward' arrows under the bottom right-hand corner of enlargement to see all artworks in this collection. You can also use the backward/forward arrows on your keyboard to do the same.

Pretty, Pink, Purple & Plastic Pollution

Pretty, Pink, Purple & Plastic Pollution

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was a group of English artists founded in 1848. William Holman-Hunt was a prominent member of the group. I first saw Holman-Hunt's 'The Scapegoat' in 1971, when aged 17. It looked startlingly fresh and modern to me. Psychedelia and the kind of 'visions' induced by hallucinogenic drugs that led to 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds', for example, played a significant part in the pop culture at the time.

My 'Pretty, Pink, Purple & Plastic Pollution - The Future is Perfect' is a digital painting and a re-imagined Scapegoat (in part, Art About Art, with a NEO-Pop twist). There is an exotically coloured alien looking landscape in which a plastic, 'monarch-like' mountain goat stands alone, presenting the viewer with contradicting narratives.

On the one hand, the image is reminiscent of something akin to the amazing Hollywood film, Avatar. A place full of wondrously hyper coloured wildlife and landscapes. 

On the other-hand, my goat is the 'last of its species' in a world's end landscape. Yes, the goat maybe attractive, pink and purple BUT it is, in fact, a plastic toy set in a synthetic/virtual landscape... referencing the rapid changes we are witnessing in climate change... all caused by humans polluting their own home-planet - a re-enactment of the Easter Island story perhaps? 

Walking on Water - Gordon Coldwell

Walking on Water

Who walked on water?  What topics might be referred to when using the much-used phrase... The Elephant in the Room?

The interior space is that of a church. 

The 3 areas of red create the 3 points of an invisible triangle and tell you where to look... the 2 paintings hanging on the back wall of the church space sit 'connected' by the triangle. These 2 artworks are concerned with faith, fidelity, religion, culture, symbolism, and ceremony. 

Elephants are important in Indian mythology - the elephant head symbolizes great intellect and wisdom.

I invite the viewer to make their own connections.

Art & Politics - Gordon Coldwell
Art & Politics - Gordon Coldwell
Art & Politics - Gordon Coldwell
Art & Politics - Gordon Coldwell

Art & Politics

Four compositions, all four containing the same content:

The art critic, historian and political commentator, Simon Sharma... the art historian, artist and socialist supporter Matthew Collings are pictured with a Titian self-portrait merged with an image of the UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn - an ambiguous hybrid the result AND the cadaver from Rembrandt's 'The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp'. The cadaver references the much used reclining female nude (Olympia, Venus etc) in western art history.

The composition and, in part, the theme, relates to a series of 3 late works by the artist Richard Hamilton... which were concerned with the notion of the 'search for perfection' in the representation of the female nude in painting. Since the premise for the 'search for perfection' relates to an unachievable objective it leaves the search as the primary concern i.e. the value of analytical discussion in seeking to understand meaning and value in art. Hence the inclusion of two art critic/historians - they represent the process of critical evaluation.

The hybrid politician and old master artist creates a figure that looks akin to an authoritative, honourable, wise and sage-like character who is deserving of respect - our knowledge of the truth and accuracy of that description depends on our experience over time and in retrospect.

Loading... Updating page...