Dystopia | 39½ x 32 in. | acrylic and silver-suspended acrylic on canvas | 2021

I’m using a new material which has silver micro-particles suspended in the paint, which results in a clear, neutral and very bright silver, which I’ve further enhanced with a base layer of white under the about 6 layers of silver in each section. I’ve then combined the silver with an equal number of yellow layers in each section in varying hues, which are almost self-lit in their intensity.

What started as a study of totalitarianism, in the process of working lead to the roots of violence itself. Some people were given the language of violence long before any language of the tongue. For them, violence is the only truth, without mercy, witness or relief. Numb to the pain, unable to feel, these people are capable of inflicting great chaos on themselves and on others. The crime of the abuse of children is perhaps the most heinous yet pervasive crime in the history of humanity, it’s effects rippling through multiple generations, crippling families and nations alike, causing untold chaos, strife and misery in an endless cycle of destruction.

This is truth effectively hidden and bewitchingly enforced, as we look away from corporal punishment and encourage cruel, tyrannical parenting techniques fearing we will spoil our children, and in doing so, seal their trajectory in life without knowing what it does to them. The totalitarianism of the world is often mirrored in many children’s upbringing, the cause of neuroses, psychoses, weakened immune systems, reduced life expectancy, addiction, suicide and death in large swathes of the population. These children, raised in a totalitarian households, are ripe for exploitation in adulthood by similar ideologies, systems of government and people in positions of authority.

How can you expect adults to be free-thinking, autonomous human beings when they’ve had their rights pummeled since birth? When all a child has been told is to obey and not ask questions, but must also suffer the cognitive dissonance that whatever fate is his to bear silently, and all this for his own good? When they have been deprived of the chance to develop their mental and emotional faculties in a loving environment that is catered to them and not the other way around, at a critical time in the formation of the self? These battered children will repeat the cycle, enforcing on their unsuspecting and dependent children the same suppression that they had no choice but to endure. We are seemingly unaware of what we become as adults has everything to do with the formative years following childbirth.

Children are not born wicked. They are made so, often by the very people who claim to love them, by labeling them, calling them evil, stifling spontaneous expression and subjecting them to a range of poisonous parenting techniques that would boggle the mind with its hypocrisy and heartlessness.

So little is understood about the child’s inner world, and so much we have left behind as children, yet behind these scars and bodily reminders the inner child still yearns for love and acceptance beyond all else in the face of the chaos of the world. Be kind to your children, and show what it is to be respected and loved, so they may recognise it for what it is, and not be deceived by what it merely claims to be.

The cost of temporary obedience by the use of force is too high to pay, not that you will have to pay it, but will cripple an entire future generation.

You don’t have to live in fear. Look past the shiny cages of your mind to the light beyond. Reclaim your humanity and sovereignty. Be free.

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