‘Hunger’, oil on canvas, 72″ X 120″, 1993
‘Hunger II’ , oil on canvas, 36″ X 60″, 1993
‘Hunger III’, oil on canvas, 36″ X 60″, 1993
These paintings were in response to the famine/drought in the Horn of Africa in 1992.
‘Stone Hunger’, soapstone, 2.5″ X 1.25″, 2011
There are now many of these ‘stone hungers’, made this year, as I watched the same thing happening again. I had always hoped my grandchildren wouldn’t see the world like this.
‘Greed Hunger Misery’, 2011, oil on canvas, 36″X60″
Gasoline is $1.23 per litre here in Canada, it was the last time I ventured outside into the adrenaline soaked roadways that suffocate my house. I have to walk. Everybody looks angry. Nobody is moving fast enough for anyone else. It is as dangerous as the wilds of Africa, I tell myself. However, the lions are far fewer and further between than the metallic entertainment boxes that whiz around the tarmac like ants on LSD. I have no idea how to give LSD to ants. But I can picture in my mind the ants would look just like you do driving around aimlessly looking for the last deal. There must be sugar here somewhere!
As I don’t drive I have no idea if that price of gasoline is too high for you, or too low. I don’t actually do anything, or go anywhere. But I’ve never heard anyone else say we should pay more. I wonder how cheap we should make it. You know, so you can all have all the toys you ever wanted, in your houses, in every room even, and the car too. If gasoline were 25 cents per litre, just think of how big our cars could be. What is the right price for luxuries. How little do you want to pay for them.
But life is great here in Canada, I can still do this. Although I’m using dollar store art supplies and found pieces of plywood I can still say something. I have a nice place to live, even though I feel I am surrounded by distaste and suspicion, its not their fault, they are oblivious of the world, and I am paranoid. Its a horrible place to look at. But someone glued my eyes open and turned the volume up full blast. You don’t think there is a connection between what we want and what the planet and its people are paying now? Or the 600,000 children under 5 on the verge of dying from starvation.
Or, if your in Canada, 400,000 under 3 year olds, it sounds better for some reason. For some, I think, the price of gasoline will be just right when you don’t hear me anymore. I will be out of your sight.
I wish someone would make a ‘dislike’ button.
Biting the hand that barely feeds me.
These images are from 1993-1996. They are how I was affected the last time there was massive disaster/war/famine in the ‘horn’ of Africa. I believe we were busy balancing our bank accounts then also. Check your history books. It is all there if you have the nerve to have a look. Including what we have been up to, the excuses we have for taking what we want because they aren’t using it anyway. They won’t notice will they. Any nation on the planet now knows that the worst thing that can happen to them is finding something in their country that we in the domesticated west want. We don’t like paying for our things, we feel we are better, entitled to whatever we want. We have achieved a point in time where we have an entirely new generation of entitled people that really believe that this is the fault of the weakest.
Do you know what this level of malnutrition will do the mind of a human being? Once again, look it up, I have. If you’ve entered first year university, you must know this. You are not innocent of this. You know that this country is now in the midst of another disaster because we left their minds bent and told them to figure things out for themselves. They may be tearing themselves to pieces, but we let this happen, again. We know of the psychological disaster too. These are abandoned children, starved to the point of death, then rescued by our enormous guilt, injected with our poisons that won’t let them die from disease, given a gun and told to pick up their bootstraps, get a job, fix this mess we made and we might save you again someday. What do we want them for? Why are we doing this? It seems far more like our demands would have them all dead so we can have what we think they might have, that’s possibly going to be useful to us now or in our fantasy future were everyone is white and awesome. Perhaps a vital mineral for the production of 3D computer phone eyeglasses, or the ultimate dream, a flying car. I am writing this on a Mac, I feel a twinge of guilt every time I look at it, which is all day, every day. My only solace is that, even though I am powerless to stop the unfolding disaster in Africa, I can speak, I can paint a picture for you.
Innocent? You didn’t know? The only innocence left on this planet is dying in a desert surrounded by hyenas trained by us!
I need to lighten the mood here. Its so depressing. Maybe I can be judgemental for a while instead. Some light relief. Good natured hostility.
I have trouble putting things into words, so I paint pictures because there isn’t enough time to put everything into words, and you can’t argue with me about what they mean.