'Boarhunt Spaceship', Guy Allott
Oil on canvas, 113 x 129.5cm, 2005
The theme of hunting is suffused with issues of art and culture. The origins of art can be traced back to pre-historic paintings in caves and carvings on rocks. This is where man depicted what he saw and what he held as important. As E.H Gombrich wrote, pictures were considered ‘not as something nice to look at, but as something powerful to use.’
Boarhunt Spaceship encapsulates the twin themes of hunting and exploration, which have been threading through my work over the last few years. In addition, the subject of ‘primitive’ or so called ‘pre-civilised’ society and culture is, for me, increasingly powerful and relevant as a metaphor for the here and now.
Hunting, historically a culturally signifying sport, remains so. It represents the perfect paradox that is humankind. Exploration and travel - a search for knowledge through experience - have always been for me the essence of the Romantic tradition. Space travel is now real, yet remains in the realms of fantasy. The surreal image of the aestheticised death of a wild boar speeding through space is surely a portrait of us all.
Guy Allott was born in Hexham in 1972. He studied in London at Central St. Martin’s College of Art and Design 1996-99 and the Royal College of Art 2000-2002. His work has featured in exhibitions including The lost collection of an invisible man Laing Art Gallery Newcastle 2003, XS fa projects London 2004, Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor Gallery 17 London 2005, and in 2006 Jagdsalon Kreuzberg Kunstraum/Bethanien Berlin and Spaceship Paintings Amt Gallery Milan.