George Orwell, arguably Britain’s most iconic and influential author of the 20th Century, wrote 1984 in 1948 a year before he died.
As a work describing the world divided into three main power blocks each ruled by autocratic and totalitarian governments which maintain control of its population through tyranny and fear it has left us with several memorable slogans that are as relevant today as they were then.
Today the growth of the three main power blocks of The West, Russia and China coupled with recent events in Ukraine have demonstrated that Orwell’s predictions were uncannily prescient and accurate,
This exhibition aims to show art created that conveys some of Orwell’s central messages from 1984 and other relevant work such as Animal Farm.
Some examples are:
“Big Brother is watching you”
“War is peace”
“Freedom is slavery”
“Ignorance is strength”
“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.”
“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”
Symbolism is also important in 1984 such as time, propaganda, methods of communication and psychological control which is reflected in the artwork.
There has always been speculation why Orwell chose the year 1984 as the title. Did he merely reverse the numbers of the year the novel was written? Did he have some insight that in the relative short period of 36 years between 1948 and 1984 the world order could change so fundamentally. Whatever his thought process it is intriguing to think that the addition of the individual numbers in 1984 produces 22 the year in which we were reminded that his messages are as relevant today and they were then?
It is hoped the exhibition visitor will put his/her own interpretation on the visual experience and how this fits with Orwellian theories and predictions.
To see more of Michael's work visit his website or follow him on Facebook.
The exhbition is open week days 9am-3pm and on Saturdays with a Meet the Artist 11am-4pm; you can also join Michael at his launch on Fri, 26 Aug 6-8pm.