Beachcombing Blog

What’s Going On ? Marvin asked it first.

August 23rd, 2016 by

I know everyone over a certain age always thinks “it was better in my day ” but looking around not only in my small corner of the UK but lots of other parts of the world one doesn’t feel a lot of optimism. I find the wilful blindness of the majority increasingly oppressive. The blindness to the increasingly wobbly state of the world environment is one aspect of my concern ( not so much for me but for one’s descendants,us having recently become Grandparents ) and another is the so called migration crisis. So apart from doing what one can in the usual ways I make art out of what washes up. My latest piece arises from the sense of impotent horror I feel seeing what is happening in the Middle East.image
The not so great photo above gives a sense of the scale of the picture. You can see there are four kind of vignettes, one in each corner. These represent the ” action ” if you will.But to appreciate their meaning needs seeing in person or through enlargement.image
Here is an enlarged view of the top Left corner ( viewers perspective ). This shows in a deliberately stark way, a mouth crying out in terror.
This is the lower Left corner and illustrates how nowadays cities,towns,villages look outward from behind guns.
This picture shows the way refugees in search of sanctuary end up huddled against fences. I’ve deliberately anonymised the people,faceless, and just as disregarded ( by most ) as the bottletops I have used to represent them.
This picture shows the hands of a migrant child reaching up from the sea to the side of a boat, spotlit. What we cannot see is that the child is held up there by his father standing on the sea bottom.
These four snapshots are surrounded by a mixture of broken words from advertising media and random coloured bits which represent the way in which these human tragedies play out while the majority carries on ” business as usual ” in the ceaseless roar and babble of modern life.

I’ve called it ” What’s Going On” and subtitled it Marvin asked it first in reference to Marvin Gaye’s great lp of the same name. He addressed the ecological problems of his time on this and also that of war in the poignant song ” Save the Children “. We used to be better at dealing with this sort of crisis but these days the majority just don’t seem to see a problem,let alone care.