'An Alpine Biodome', Geraint Evans
2008, Oil on canvas, 200 x 179.5 cm
My recent work is concerned with the perception of landscape as a construction of culture and memory. Tourism encourages the pursuit of the 'authentic' experience and often promises an encounter with the 'natural' landscape through a packaged tour or
within the boundaries of a national park, which inevitably encourages the commodification of nature.
In 'An Alpine Biodome' a tourist resort has been constructed at the base of an epic mountain range. Two maintenance workers have arrived by buggy to assess their work schedule for the day whilst above them, the arching steel and glass roof of a geodesic dome maintains the perfect micro climate. Without the inconveniences of threatening fauna or an unpredictable climate this experience of the natural world might be regarded as perhaps better than the real thing.
Umberto Eco articulates this argument in his essay 'Travels in Hyperreality' (1975) particularly in relation to Disneyland which, he says, 'not only produces illusion, but...stimulates the desire for it'. However, it is hard not to recall Delos, the amusement park at the centre of Michael Crichton's film 'Westworld' (1973) which, as the technology fails, descends into extreme and tragic chaos despite the resort's cheerful claim: 'Welcome to Westworld, where nothing can go wrong'.
Geraint Evans was born in Swansea in 1968. He studied at Manchester Polytechnic 1987-90 and the Royal Academy Schools London 1990-93. Solo exhibitions include those at Chapter
Cardiff 2001, Wilkinson Gallery London 2000 and 2004, CASA Salamanca Spain 2003. Group shows include 'Dirty
Pictures' The Approach London 2003, 'Other Times' City Gallery Prague 2004, 'Crimes of Omission' ICA University of
Pennsylvania USA 2007, 'Precious Things' Highlanes Gallery Drogheda Ireland 2008, and in 2010 at Shanghai Gallery
of Art China 2010 and Seongnam Art Centre Korea 2010. Exhibited four times in the 'John Moores' in 1995, 2004, 2006
and 2008 (prizewinner).