Exercise 5.7: Prepare your artist's statement

At the end of 2015, Desmond and Eva visited England and caused misery for 16,000 home owners. This stormy couple were just two of the many freak weather events that have wreaked havoc with our economy and infrastructure. 

Whenever these unpredictable events occur, I always wonder if we really could have done more. News reporters comment on how the government needs to invest in managing the environment, however, it would be naive to assume that environmental damage is solely the result of large scale events, such as floods and hurricanes. Large scale events need more than large scale solutions. 

A need for more houses, a desire for places to shop and to be entertained have contributed to the urbanisation of the countryside. Meanwhile, the overgrown countryside has become neglected and left to devour places that have become abandoned. The interface between urban and rural, is a battleground where it is a case of 'consume or be consumed'.  

Living near a river myself, which has a flood management facility, I am very concerned about what the future may bring. In order to prevent an environmental disaster in the future, I believe that we need to be aware of, and respond to, the human and physical impact on the environment at a smaller scale. For example, the carrier bags left on the canal tow path and overgrown grass on steps are small changes, which can have an impact on the environment. 

Consume is my response to this issue. It involved a local walk towards the centre of town, from rural to urban. During the walk, I collected pairs of images that could be juxtaposed with each other, to illustrate the possible environmental changes, from rural to urban, and vice versa. I combined these images as animated gifs, which transition forwards and backwards to reflect the continual shift between the human and physical environments.

This online exhibition of animated gifs is intended to create a sense of tension and urgency for the consumer (viewer). If we pay greater attention to the small things, and do something about it now, then maybe the bigger picture will be  more palatable for all of us.