Wales International Painting Prize: BEEP 2012 - Through Tomorrows Eyes
Deadline: 26 May 2012
Application fee: £15
WHAT: Using Utopia/Dystopia as a blueprint for a possible social reconstruction or representation; Beep/elysium gallery is seeking work that responds to this year’s theme of Through Tomorrow’s Eyes. What would the cities, dwellings, peoples and its possibilities look like? What are the questions we should be asking, and what are the answers?
WHEN: 20th July - 11th August 2012
Location: Volcano | 229 High St | Swansea | Wales | UK
Deadline for applications: 26 May 2012
PAYMENTS: The Judges main prize winner to be announced on the evening of the opening and the peoples prize announced at the end of the exhibition. Prize amounts TBC closer to the exhibition date.
CHARGES: £15 submission fee made payable via PAYPAL at www.beepwales.co.uk or pay by cheque made payable to ELYSIUM GALLERY and posted to Elysium Gallery Studios | 2 Mansel St | Swansea | Wales | SA1 5SE
DETAILS: BEEP (Bi-Ennial Exhibition of Painting) is the first major international painting prize in Wales and is encouraging large scale pieces of work (max 2m x 4m) as well as smaller scaled and 3-D works. Beep is run by Elysium Gallery but will take place in out of gallery locations and will run every 2 years.
APPLY: Visit the Beep website at www.beepwales.co.uk where you can either download an application form or submit online.
CONTACT: [email protected]
Using Utopia/Dystopia as a blueprint for a possible social reconstruction or representation; beep is seeking work that responds to this year’s theme of Through Tomorrow’s Eyes.
In Utopia, -- subterranean fields, --
Or some secreted island, Heaven knows where!
But in the very world, which is the world
Of all of us, -- the place where in the end
We find our happiness, or not at all!
Utopia is the human race’s ultimate aspiration - it gives us scope for imagining, inventing and reinventing possible futures and new worlds. What are the possibilities of the human condition in a Utopian context?
Is our idyllic Avalon a city-less world where widely spaced earth-sheltered towns offer sweeping views over the green plains, valleys and mountains? Where high-speed air trains link the communities, cycle ways dominate the human landscape, non-polluting solar and wind generated power fuels all vehicles, all food is fresh and home- grown and everything is reused and recycled?
Or do our futures lie in the sprawling Dystopian cities spreading their tentacles across the globe in the form of highways feeding the city; humanity is exhausting the Earth’s raw materials by which it is sustained, is it thus drawing the rest of the planet into its inevitable apocalyptic end?
One argument is that the future of the human race lies in its genesis –with a vital need to reconnect with nature and follow a more spiritual path. For this to happen, do we need to break away from the materialistic constraints of the city – its tendency to coerce the mass into subjugation and dependency - rendering them unable to survive outside of it?
The city can be seen as the embodiment of a collective human machine, operating not by individual choices, but by an enveloping and all-pervasive control and manipulation, of mind as well as of the body.
‘The mass crushes out the insight and reflection that are still possible with the individual’
Oswald Spengler, in his book The Decline of the West, describes the megalopolis (city) as an inward looking organism; turning away from the sun, and creating its own language and soul. Such a built up environment could conjure up an Orwellian scenario where the mass is easily controlled in an enclosed cityscape compound. Some would say this is already happening.
Spengler states that we are now in the later stages of a Faustian civilisation where we are constantly striving for the unattainable – making man the ultimately tragic and doomed figure. Is the Utopian ideal then destined never to succeed? The idea of Utopia inevitably leads to recognizing the reality of Dystopia.
Utopia is our heaven; it is our dreams of perfected progress - the pinnacle of human achievements, social justice, prevailing peace and harmony with nature.
Dystopia is our possible hell; a nightmare where the human spirit is controlled and nullified in an environment that breeds fractured communities and distorted views of ourselves.
What would the cities and dwellings, the peoples in such a Utopian or Dystopian worlds, and its possibilities look like?
What are the questions we should be asking, and what are the answers?
Through Tomorrow’s Eyes hopes to shed some light on all of this.