Beast straddles the problematic and compelling void of the absurd; comedy laced with latent associations of violence and secrecy.
Dressed in ghillie camouflage a figure stands in the foreground of a wide green park shot in panorama, a few others lilting casually in civilian dress behind him. He blends in with the landscape, creaturely, while standing out like a wounded soldier in peacetime. Framed outside of the context of foliage, the suit becomes theatrical and monstrous -- and people avert their eyes. His presence is more ignored than condemned, like a homeless vagrant loose in the park.
The suit renders him nameless, nearly faceless; in a melancholic post-war return to peace, he is devoid of purpose. He exists in the realm of aftermath and unchartable memory.
He is becoming-animal; one with the lush, peaceful landscape, to the point where he’s invisible in spite of standing front and centre. People don’t see him, don’t notice him standing in a pool of eerie light, shrouded in, even comforted by the colour and texture of war.
Use of post-production is a core element of my practice. In the context of Beast the costume is simple; but enhanced in post-production. With a colourful echo of Francis Upritchard’s hunched, coloured hippie figurines, presented is a similarly decontextualised image of war, positioned in a liminal space of detachment. The colour also nods to the fake weaponry of airsoft war gaming; brightly painted to dissociate from real firearms. The camouflaging quality of the suit is unnerving; his exposure in the wide space makes him other. It instills an unsettling mood of displacement; playfully executed with a nod to the strange sport of war-gaming as entertainment.
There is a listlessness and a loss of identity in post-war return. Beast is situated in the aftermath, the barren surroundings and skilful post-production colouring him both sinister and comical, villain and fool, exposed yet ignored: an unsettling between-zone of amorphous being.