TO THE CITIZENS OF PARADISE
To the Citizens of Paradise, 2021.
Digital print on Hahnemühle Bamboo paper, graphite, frame made from sustainable timber, wood chips from land cleared for a shopping mall expansion, online video 1:46min.
Dimensions: 65 x 58 x 3.5 cm. (H x W x D)
To the Citizens of Paradise was conceptualised as a response to the exodus of urban inhabitants to idyllic regional locations, in the wake of COVID-19. As towns swell, commercial development is accelerated. And this multidimensional work is an entreaty to these new neighbours to embrace a perspective of locality – biosphere and village culture - over notions of convenient consumerism.
As this particular example (the Civic Centre expansion on the Sunshine Coast) exhibits, inserting mass consumerism into paradise ultimately erases its qualities and reconfigures them into a homogenised ideal of the ‘best life’. A QR code actions the viewers’ phone to a video that makes this temporal transformation palpable. At the same time, Paradise can be perceived as the natural world, in which case the work implicates us all as ‘Citizens’.
To the Citizens of Paradise won the New Media Award in the 2021 Queensland Regional Art Awards and will be touring Queensland galleries throughout 2022 and 2023.