A SERIES OF BAS RELIEFS PORTRAYING ANIMAL / HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS
I have always believed that art should contribute to the moral and spiritual elevation and social betterment of its audience. The series of bas reliefs in this exhibit highlight themes and questions related to humankind's relationship to animals. Of particular concern to me is the loss of animal species due to our continuing destruction of the environment. . The future course of the Earth's biosphere will be determined by our actions, and as a fellow human and artist, I seek to contribute to the decades-long effort to make people aware of the effects of our choices on the environment and the animals around us.
I believe the way that we treat animals, reflects on our ability to become true stewards of the earth. The intention of this series of wall reliefs is to make the viewer more conscious of the ethical and psychological attitudes he or she may have inherited. As an artist, I want to use the strength of the pictorial image to raise awareness of the paradoxical attitudes we hold toward animals. My hope is that the awareness of these paradoxes will advance the changes necessary for us to better manage the earth's resources.
You may look at some of these works and see no obvious connections to my statements on the environment. My purpose in the work is not to illustrate the subject matter but create images that help the viewer better understand the deep seated assumptions about what we consider acceptable treatment of animals. Hammering home a particular message is not my intention. I think this has already happened too much within the debate on the environment. I would rather have the viewer return to look again and question where these assumptions come from. In my mind, in order to achieve this, the work has to be subtle and at the same time intriguing and bothersome. I want the viewer to question what I am saying in the work as well as what he or she thinks about the subject of the work.
All reliefs pictured are cast in Forton (polymer modified gypsum) with a bronze patina. The reliefs can be cast in bronze by special order. Please contact the artist for details.
Jeffrey Briggs August 8, 2010