"Forbidden love in Neo-Arcadia" (2017), Oil on paper
Jamie Jonathan Ball, Hamburg, Germany. A British artist and book designer living and working in Hamburg, Germany. Interested in visually exploring history, the end of history and possible future history. Has previously worked in Berlin, London, Stockholm, Münster, Plymouth, Nottingham.
The painting "Forbidden love in Neo-Arcadia" (2017), focuses on two reoccurring characters throughout a series of works, who in most cases are involved mindlessly in carrying out orders of power in the name of Der Staat / The State, to "protect" the land of Neo-Arcadia. Here, they are seen privately conducting an intimate relationship (forbidden by Der Staat). I wanted to explore the idea that under all uniforms are perhaps also people with thoughts and feelings of their own. As they are never seen out of uniform, no specific gender is specified, although historically one might imagine that this line of work has strong ties to masculinity.
"I see this also as beyond declension, and not a commemoration of the invincible that changes itself as it proceeds, the past's extension, or the afternoon-long shadows that are the future's" - Derek Walcott The Bounty
The Chaos State acts as a central theme in which several groups of work revolve (inc. the Der Staat paintings). The work represents a largely dystopian future, based on the idea that Western society is now so deeply embedded in its own infinitely complex histories that a downward spiral has been set in motion which cannot be reversed. This situation has elapsed, and is elapsing, over such an immense time-frame that an overview seems almost impossible. The Chaos State reflects my own neurotic fears having been born into late twentieth-century Europe, which operates according to outdated concepts of ownership, property and nationalism.
"The structures of ideology are now something so subtle and nuanced that control is no longer something tangible. Like the romantic and comforting myths we construct into national identities..." - Colin Siyuan Chinnery Birds of a Feather
The Chaos State aims to examine the possible decline and eventual collapse of some strata of society due to factors including human-influenced climate change, border disputes, forced migration and displacement, social isolation and cultural exclusion, religious disagreements, over-consumption, food shortages, desperation, and a rapidly increasing gap between the rich and the poor. Flags, sunflowers, factories and a black sun are continually revisited themes within the imagery.