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Antagony, 2023

80 x 105 cm, Mixed Media

If we interpret “antagony” as a portmanteau of “antagonist” and “agony,” it suggests a state of extreme conflict or struggle that causes great anguish or suffering; it can be thought to describe a situation in which forces are locked in intense opposition.

We have separated ourselves from nature and it has become the antagonist to modern human society…and not without dire consequences! Obliterated and unsustained, we abuse thing that supports and allows our very existence. The term antagony has, therefore, been created to  to highlight the conflict between human beings and their collective disregard for nature; a fact which is highlighted through our cultural  disdain for ‘dirt’.

The hummus layer, which is figuratively depicted in this work is the result matter breaking down. It is full of death, and the subsequent decay that follows, and so it is comprehendible why we can feel inclined to reject this vital component of the natural environment. Unlike blooming flowers and butterflies which represent the peak of vitality in nature, the mud is dark, hidden, and reminds us of the end of things.

It is, however, important to recognise that soil plays a vital role in supporting life on Earth. Bacteria, and other microorganisms, although usually unwelcome, are also a fundamental aspect of our overall health.

This all acts as a powerful metaphor for how it is only through the darkness that we come to understand the light.

“Everybody knows shit is a really good fertiliser”