Robert Slingsby shows his colours

By philip
6 November 2012

Robert Slingsby shows his colours as an activist artist.

Considering the environmental impact and victims of ideological conflict, is the focus of Slingsby’s exhibition at the Barnard Gallery.

American conceptual artist, Barbara Kruger, in the 1980’s, included the phrase ‘Money and God in his pocket’ in a poster protesting nuclear armament. These words are designed to convey the paradox of upholding conflicting values.

Considering the environmental impact and victims of ideological conflict, is the focus of this exhibition. While Money and God in his pocket is the cause of the conflict, the outcome of this conflict has resulted in planet earth entering a new era or more correctly, new epoch.

The name of this epoch is Anthropocene.

Anthropocene is a new word, which is currently being debated by scientists who are trying to decide when this new epoch started. For the first time, it has been recognised that man’s activities have made significant enough geological changes to herald a new epoch.

Slingsby sees this work as an ‘Anthropocene artist’ as a form of activism, a calling to others to open their eyes and take action to prevent further obliteration.

“We lose the very essence of what makes us African, when we diminish the diversity of our natural abundance. When we lose the rhino we lose something which is so deeply engrained into our psyche, a mooring post which defines our ‘African-ness’. “Robert Slingsby

Through his current series of drawings he bears witness to man’s persistent and ruthless exploitation of planet earth, bringing the consequences of mans greed and consequent diminishing habitats, as taking the blame for this epoch of mass obliteration. Besides the fallout onto life forms such as the rhino, he also examines the less considered. Included is the impact of development on the people of the Richtersveld.

Robert Slingsby

There is a strange beauty in these powerful drawings.  The drawings of obliterations in all forms are hyper-realistically and at times brutally captured.  

Robert Slingsby: “Money and God in his pocket “
24 October – 28 November 2012
Barnard Gallery 55 Main Street, Newlands, Cape Town

 

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