Photos: Arcadia

by Beauchamp Art

Arcadia - 11


Blue tack figure on artificial grass; experiments for future ideas.

Arcadia follows small synthetic figure in a plastic paradise. In these images I experimented with orientating and reposing the small, quickly made Morph-like figure into a range of positions, placed in conjunctions with the artificial grass samples, set against a blue, plastic backdrop.

These were fairly basic and lighthearted compositions that served as a testing ground for ideas about a potential stop-motion animation project.

Arcadia comes from Grecian antiquity; an ideal pasture and natural harmony, which was adopted Romantic landscape artists, and forms the backdrop to Tom Stoppard’s play of the same name, which deals with an interesting ranges of themes, including the impossibility of realizing the ideal; as it is inevitably tied to fashion, remediated iconography, and taste. The figure is no Adonis, the Astroturf no Arcadia.

Thus every man’s paradise is unique, all equally unattainable. Stoppard also deals with knowledge acquisition and understanding; the perilousness of the aspiration to omnipotence; “When we have found all the mysteries and lost all the meaning, we will be alone, on an empty shore.” [Stoppard, 1993] The over zealous and exclusive dedication to the development of personal knowledge and the centralizing of information can only lead to isolation.

Stoppard uses the hermit as a metaphor for the figure lead to solitude by their apathetic academic pursuits (following a traumatic event) as if to understand all would allow someone to control everything, to morph reality, and to shape it to one’s own desires, undoing unwanted history, much as the rural Derbyshire garden in Stoppard’s play is reshaped and reformed by each owner; each picturesque image overriding the will and memory of the previous ideal. Much as the malleable plastic figure is remolded with each new pose, taking traces of the previous positions as evidenced by the build up of fingerprints and dirt from the constant reshaping, not forming a clear cast of the hands that shaped it, only building to a blur, and uncertain history. Only concrete in representations, idealised, colour-corrected photographs, with the fold of the backdrop digitally removed, forming an infinite curve, and endless horizon; an unending blue of sea and sky fused, amassed by a plastic island, and an isolated, artificial figure; the plastic hermit.

Arcadia - 01

Arcadia - 15


Stoppard, Tom. (1993) Arcadia. [Play]