‘Goodnight then…’ end of year show ‘You’re Lucky You’re Alive’ at Telfer Gallery
I am interested in using every day, mundane objects to stir feeling and emotions in the viewer. I have used the image of the radio to evoke feelings of redundancy, loss of meaning and a breakdown in communication. The production of ‘the radio’ boomed in the aftermath of world war two, along with technology in general. War efforts forced the development of science and technology, which meant when the war ended; the results were converted back into consumer products. This was the onset of what we known today as ‘materialism’ and ‘consumerism’ in society. There is an irony in this because during the war it seemed that the radio brought people together – everyone gathered around it in order to hear news about the war and their loved ones fighting over seas. The radio has now become redundant though. Technology has progressed in such a way that today the I-pod is everything in one device (radio, music, internet, calendar etc.). They are disposable – constantly being replaced with a newer, better version. They are designed for individual/solitary use.
The quote is from the, then, prime minister Neville Chamberlain, on the eve of the war: “Goodnight, then – sleep to gather strength for the morning.” This emphasises the sense of community that existed during this time. Although he was speaking to millions through the radio, the message sounds very personal; as if it was something he would say to his family before they went to bed.