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triptych
oil paint, ink and collaged cartridge paper on panel 1989
each panel measures 68cm x 100cm

This large triptych featured in my degree show way back in art school.
I was creating paintings showing massive stepped pyramids, walls and shadows. Each painting was unpopulated as though people had long abandoned the landscape.
This painting describes my feelings toward the threat and seduction of nuclear weapons.
Panel one is the silo from where warheads can be launched. Panel two is the memorial to a previous nuclear bomb and the bell in the last panel is the warning bell.
In the eighties we were fed all the fear and propaganda about nuclear threat. Whilst this threat was defined as coming from a Communist Russia, the governments of Britain and America maintained an alarm level so that teenagers like me lived with the depressing thought that we were one button away from disaster because we had a huge superpower enemy.
Now in 2011 I see our governments still adopt the constant state of alarm. Imminent threats!! Security level on high!!
George Orwell predicted all this in 1984. I am chilled at the processes and controls by which our societies are governed.
From these barren paintings came more architecture but with huge block figures populating the lanscape as tributes to humanity. My painting on Redbubble ‘Waiting on the shore’ (1992) became solely interested in the form of the blocked people and from that work a whole period of blocked people arrived. The architecture that spawned these paintings disappeared and my figurative art developed.
Thankyou for looking!!!

Tags

war, memorial, missile, propaganda

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Comments

  • Arcadia Tempest
    Arcadia Tempestover 3 years ago

    Shades of Escher me thinks…
    Very interesting outlook on the symbolism of power and saw the steps leading to air raid shelters in this
    It could be my mind reacting to the reflex action of there’s smoke in the sky must be a missile strike on the way

  • Thanks for looking Arcadia!! Escher indeed inspired me greatly during my teens and early twenties. I did a painting at this time with people going up steps to a bomb memorial. It was right out of the Escher genre. I sold it before I got a photo of it. I would love people to see it because it was my best painting at that time. It will crop up again one day…
    Much appreciated views Arcadia!!

    – Stephen Mclaren

  • helene ruiz
    helene ruizover 3 years ago

    u r an amazing creator~ fABULOUS! WOWOWOWOW!

  • Thankyou Helene!! I’m so glad you like this early piece. I nearly sold it back in 1990. It had been in an exhibition in Edinburgh and the couple came to see me in order to buy it. Sadly they hoped I would be easy to buy from as I was still a student. They offered me less money than I had asked ( a third less ) and I said no! I remember being so disappointed at not making the sale and I thought maybe I shouldve reduced the price. A sale is a sale after all!
    Well I uncovered this painting because I’m preparing to move house and having it here on RB is its first public appearance for 21 years!! I’m delighted you have appreciated it!!

    – Stephen Mclaren

  • kasia  ikasia
    kasia ikasiaover 3 years ago

    oiiiiiiiii GREAT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Many many thanks Kasia!!!!!! Thankyou for you lovely shout!!!!

    – Stephen Mclaren

  • Cindy Schnackel
    Cindy Schnackelover 3 years ago

    Awesome work, love the shading, textures, and big solid shapes.

  • Thankyou Cindy!! I had quite a morbid idea for this. I took rubbings of gravestones from the local church and used these textures and some of the letters to make this. I collaged paper onto panels then painted the shapes.
    One day I will re-work this. Its far sketchier than I think it should be. My older ( wiser haha ) artistic head would like to see better brushwork. Thankyou for the lovely compliment!!!

    – Stephen Mclaren

  • Alan Kenny
    Alan Kennyover 3 years ago

    Trixelent

  • Thankyou Alan!!!! Nice word!!! Threemendous!! Ouch sorry!!!

    – Stephen Mclaren

  • Donna Huntriss
    Donna Huntrissover 3 years ago

    Awesome!

  • Thankyou Donna!!!!! Im glad I put this oldie onto RB. Ive got another one to unearth during my house move these next few weeks so I hope to show that on RB too!!

    – Stephen Mclaren

  • umbra
    umbraover 3 years ago

  • THANKYOU FOR THE FEATURE!!! I’m delighted this painting inspired you to feature it Erich!! Im so happy!!!!

    – Stephen Mclaren

  • o0OdemocrazyO0o
    o0OdemocrazyO0oover 3 years ago

    oh very nice… great construction… excellent!

  • Thankyou!!! Hows NZ today my friend??

    – Stephen Mclaren

  • vampvamp
    vampvampover 3 years ago

    so cool dude!

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