Neil McClelland – Tensions between utopic & dystopic visions
My current body of work explores tensions between utopic and dystopic visions. I inquire into notions of human happiness and perfectibility, the creation of edenic paradises, disruption and dissolution of society, alienation and consumption, the monstrous and the beautiful, mythmaking and storytelling.
I draw imagery and inspiration from literature and film, along with art historical, historical, and contemporary sources. I am especially drawn to the title of Paul Gauguin’s painting Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? as evoking crucial questions for contemporary examination. Using the qualities and possibilities of paint, I seek to convey a visceral sense of place and time to suggest what is simultaneously familiar but strange.
Fragments of the real and unreal merge to create possible futures that evoke the dangers inherent in thinking that human ingenuity and technology can create a perfect society, but that hint at possibilities of a new beginning.