Mangrovia is intended to be visual allegory, developed into an environmentally focused narrative, one I like to think is akin to a medieval saga/fairytale. In essence the work I produce is an attempt to present the pressing issues of mangrove destruction/water pollution in an alluring, fantastical way. Mangrovia when complete will be a comment on the state of the worlds polluted waterways, and intends to prompt us to consider the moral and environmental consequences of mangrove habitat loss, continued fouling of the worlds oceans, rivers and wetlands.

By looking at reality I’m creating the illusion of an imaginary world, where it’s characters are immersed in a struggle for survival, as the ‘inundated realm’ they inhabit threatens their survival. Within this liquid morass the ‘tribes’ constantly wander in pursuit of a better, dryer life. In tandem to this they quarrel. There are wars! There is struggle. Ultimately I'm using the innocuous mangrove and focusing on the incongruity of form to drive the message that humanity could end up in a lawless, much depleted terrifying world if we continue on our current trajectory of environmental destruction.

The tone of the work is intentionally dark. To push the message that humanity faces an uncertain future if we continue on our current trajectory of earthly degradation & to neglect the pressing issues of climate change. My approach is to seek out natural anomalies, or human garbage/inferences in wetland, coastline, river & mangrove habitats, which when viewed through my carefully selected lens. (only one focal length 55mm. NO PHOTOSHOP RETOUCHING)

NB: This is work in progress. Series title, image titles are not yet fully realized.

The Towers of Ethane

(shrimping pond water intake and extraction pipes which draw fresh water from the mangrove dykes and then pump shrimp feed/antibiotic contaminated fluid back into the mangrove system).
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
The Blue Abyss
Year 2060

(my footstep into soft coastal sediment created what appeared to me a whirlpool into a blue abyss. A one way ticket into oblivion for any hapless soul that might fall into this vortex of turquoise death.
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Black Mud Taketh Away

(this piece of exposed mangrove root surrounded by highly salt laden estuarine mud, resembles to my mind a young woman, head bent in submission as she is slowly engulfed in tar like sludge).

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Mount Cherusci & Lake Seneca
2061

(another example of the environmental impact consequences of the shrimp farm industry. Here we see alga blooms that have developed on what should be marsh sediment. As I walked in the slime laden bog, an appalling ammonia like smell permeated the air. The dead mangrove root to my mind resembles the spire of some strange gothic cathedral besides a pool of contaminated sea water. I call this body of water, Lake Senenca).
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Black Delta
Year 2060

(what I am calling the black delta is I think natural magnetite black sand mixing as alluvial run off with normal white sand. Why this phenomenon occurs I am still investigating. However I find the combination visually arresting. When I look at this image I imagine I'm flying over a large riverine environment. Black river water cutting through what was once a rocky desert landscape. The great flood has begun.
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Ogon Buriel #1
2061

(white muslin cloth wrapped around the head stones at a Muslim cemetery on the north east corner of Phuket, Thailand, resemble to my mind, pilgrims standing at the graves of their deceased. For the sake of my narrative, I have elected to call these hooded mourners Ogons. This is an Ogon buriel. The Ogon are a tribe found in the warmer more tropical reaches of Waterworld/Mangrovia).

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Ogon Buriel #3
2061

(white muslin cloth wrapped around the head stones at a Muslim cemetery on the north east corner of Phuket, Thailand, resemble to my mind, pilgrims standing at the graves of their deceased. For the sake of my narrative, I have elected to call these hooded mourners Ogons. This is an Ogon buriel. The Ogon are a tribe found in the warmer more tropical reaches of Waterworld/Mangrovia).
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Ogon Buriel #2
2061

(white muslin cloth wrapped around the head stones at a Muslim cemetery on the north east corner of Phuket, Thailand, resemble to my mind, pilgrims standing at the graves of their deceased. For the sake of my narrative, I have elected to call these hooded mourners Ogons. This is an Ogon buriel. The Ogon are a tribe found in the warmer more tropical reaches of Waterworld/Mangrovia).
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Mud Dragons
Year 2060

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Warlok #1

(while coming another shrimp farm complex I saw to my astonishment something floating in the pond water that I could only describe as 'Darth Vader'. I was instantly drawn to this mysterious looking warrior, and of course all he actually was in reality was a piece of heavy duty black refuse bin liner. Needless to say, his arrival within my ongoing project, enforced my belief that what I was attempting to do had merit. That without any form of photoshop manipulation, I was in fact creating the illusion of an imaginary water sodden world. A pagan tale. That reality was dishing up some spectacular Tolkien-esque characters and locations. It imbued me with a strong desire to press on with Waterworld/Mangrovia.
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Warlok #2

(while coming another shrimp farm complex I saw to my astonishment something floating in the pond water that I could only describe as 'Darth Vader'. I was instantly drawn to this mysterious looking warrior, and of course all he actually was in reality was a piece of heavy duty black refuse bin liner. Needless to say, his arrival within my ongoing project, enforced my belief that what I was attempting to do had merit. That without any form of photoshop manipulation, I was in fact creating the illusion of an imaginary water sodden world. A pagan tale. That reality was dishing up some spectacular Tolkien-esque characters and locations. It imbued me with a strong desire to press on with Waterworld/Mangrovia.
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Warlok #3

(while coming another shrimp farm complex I saw to my astonishment something floating in the pond water that I could only describe as 'Darth Vader'. I was instantly drawn to this mysterious looking warrior, and of course all he actually was in reality was a piece of heavy duty black refuse bin liner. Needless to say, his arrival within my ongoing project, enforced my belief that what I was attempting to do had merit. That without any form of photoshop manipulation, I was in fact creating the illusion of an imaginary water sodden world. A pagan tale. That reality was dishing up some spectacular Tolkien-esque characters and locations. It imbued me with a strong desire to press on with Waterworld/Mangrovia.

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Warlok #4

(while coming another shrimp farm complex I saw to my astonishment something floating in the pond water that I could only describe as 'Darth Vader'. I was instantly drawn to this mysterious looking warrior, and of course all he actually was in reality was a piece of heavy duty black refuse bin liner. Needless to say, his arrival within my ongoing project, enforced my belief that what I was attempting to do had merit. That without any form of photoshop manipulation, I was in fact creating the illusion of an imaginary water sodden world. A pagan tale. That reality was dishing up some spectacular Tolkien-esque characters and locations. It imbued me with a strong desire to press on with Waterworld/Mangrovia.
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Aftermath of Seiche

(along a stretch of beach on the northern tip of Phuket Island, Thailand I came across this scene of mangrove cone roots interspersed between clumps of broken bricks. Rubble that had been washed to this point by tidal action from the piles of housing debris on the fringes of this beach. To my mind collectively they look like an aerial view of a rural town devastated by some form of cataclysmic natural event such as a tsunami or cyclone or flash flood. Hence I call it the Aftermath of Seiche).
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Lost Togan Mother with Child
2060

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
The Barbrian Trenches
Year 2060
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
The Badlandia Steppes
Year 2060
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Sinkhole. The Badlandia Steppes
Year 2060

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Plains of Vileness #1
Year 2060

(just outside Phuket town, in an area that straddles both mangrove channels and small rivers, sandwiched between the two was an area of abandoned land. Land that might have been zoned for development, but obviously left unattended. Land that now serves as some sort of dumping ground. Time had allowed algae to grown. Algae associated with contaminated water. This mixture of mud, slime and discarded tree cuttings reminded of an aerial view of a valley of small hillocks and lakes. I christened the title. Plains of Vileness).
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Plains of Vileness #2
Year 2060

(just outside Phuket town, in an area that straddles both mangrove channels and small rivers, sandwiched between the two was an area of abandoned land. Land that might have been zoned for development, but obviously left unattended. Land that now serves as some sort of dumping ground. Time had allowed algae to grown. Algae associated with contaminated water. This mixture of mud, slime and discarded tree cuttings reminded of an aerial view of a valley of small hillocks and lakes. I christened the title. Plains of Vileness).
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Plains of Vileness #4 Lake Slime
Year 2060

(just outside Phuket town, in an area that straddles both mangrove channels and small rivers, sandwiched between the two was an area of abandoned land. Land that might have been zoned for development, but obviously left unattended. Land that now serves as some sort of dumping ground. Time had allowed algae to grown. Algae associated with contaminated water. This mixture of mud, slime and discarded tree cuttings reminded of an aerial view of a valley of small hillocks and lakes. I christened the title. Plains of Vileness).

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Labyrinth of Carcinus
Year 2060
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
The Dark Valley #1
2060

Dried out shrimp ponds with the almost skeleton like remains of dead shrimps gave me reason to stop, look and contemplate. These crustacean husks conjured up visions of a scenes reminiscent of war photographs, remains of dead soldiers, picked clean by scavengers on the boggy plains of the Somme. A poignant symbol I thought of what might befall mankind if we continue on our current trajectory of environmental degradation.
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
The Dark Valley #2

Dried out shrimp ponds with the almost skeleton like remains of dead shrimps gave me reason to stop, look and contemplate. These crustacean husks conjured up visions of a scenes reminiscent of war photographs, remains of dead soldiers, picked clean by scavengers on the boggy plains of the Somme. A poignant symbol I thought of what might befall mankind if we continue on our current trajectory of environmental degradation.

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Toganite Masses #1
Year 2060

Clumps of what naturalists call Knee Roots are seen exposed at low tide deep within a mangrove forest. These knee roots emerge as a root loop from the underground root system and allow the exchange of gases in oxygen-poor sediments. But as I peered at these 'knee roots' I began to see hooded pilgrims. They had to my mind a very human like form. I imagined them similar to the cloaked Nazgul or Elven in Lord of the Rings. I call them Togans. They are the bad guys this fable. Hell bent on subjugation and exploitation of the weak and suffering in this boggy morass I call Waterworld/Mangrovia.
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Toganite Masses #2
Year 2060

Clumps of what naturalists call Knee Roots are seen exposed at low tide deep within a mangrove forest. These knee roots emerge as a root loop from the underground root system and allow the exchange of gases in oxygen-poor sediments. But as I peered at these 'knee roots' I began to see hooded pilgrims. They had to my mind a very human like form. I imagined them similar to the cloaked Nazgul or Elven in Lord of the Rings. I call them Togans. They are the bad guys this fable. Hell bent on subjugation and exploitation of the weak and suffering in this boggy morass I call Waterworld/Mangrovia.
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Toganite Masses #3
Year 2060

Clumps of what naturalists call Knee Roots are seen exposed at low tide deep within a mangrove forest. These knee roots emerge as a root loop from the underground root system and allow the exchange of gases in oxygen-poor sediments. But as I peered at these 'knee roots' I began to see hooded pilgrims. They had to my mind a very human like form. I imagined them similar to the cloaked Nazgul or Elven in Lord of the Rings. I call them Togans. They are the bad guys this fable. Hell bent on subjugation and exploitation of the weak and suffering in this boggy morass I call Waterworld/Mangrovia.

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Toganite refugees crawl forth hoping to find dryer terrain
Year 2060

Clumps of what naturalists call Knee Roots are seen exposed at low tide deep within a mangrove forest. These knee roots emerge as a root loop from the underground root system and allow the exchange of gases in oxygen-poor sediments. But as I peered at these 'knee roots' I began to see hooded pilgrims. They had to my mind a very human like form. I imagined them similar to the cloaked Nazgul or Elven in Lord of the Rings. I call them Togans. They are the bad guys this fable. Hell bent on subjugation and exploitation of the weak and suffering in this boggy morass I call Waterworld/Mangrovia.
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld

Year 2060
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld

Year 2060

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Togan Spy
Year 2060

I think this mangrove knee root looks like a bad guy. I call him a Togan spy. I see his tattered tunic, his overall appearance somehow resembling photographs I have mulled over of battered and forlorn German soldiers trudging towards the cold wet reaches of the Russian Eastern Front. His eye can be seen glancing to the left of frame. He carries a rather sinister, conniving presence about him. He is up to no good that is for sure!
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld

Year 2060
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
The Battle of Ojah Delta #1
Year 2060

Mangrove pencil roots, but as I see them, the flailing arms and limbs of spear wielding soldiers engaged in a fearsome battle.

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
The Battle of Ojah Delta #2
Year 2060

Mangrove pencil roots, but as I see them, the flailing arms and limbs of spear wielding soldiers engaged in a fearsome battle.
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Towers of Toxicity #1
Year 2060

These images conjure up for me vignettes of Kevin Costner's film, Waterworld. I guess this is why I have given this project the working title of the same name. They are pencil roots, draped in a fine filigree of sea grass. They look to my mind like medieval structures. Tree houses. Stilt structures. In this case stilt houses over water. However others might interpret them, I call them the Towers of Toxicity. This is where survivors of the deluge are rebuilding their lives, albeit above wet soggy ground.
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Towers of Toxicity #2
Year 2060

These images conjure up for me vignettes of Kevin Costner's film, Waterworld. I guess this is why I have given this project the working title of the same name. They are pencil roots, draped in a fine filigree of sea grass. They look to my mind like medieval structures. Tree houses. Stilt structures. In this case stilt houses over water. However others might interpret them, I call them the Towers of Toxicity. This is where survivors of the deluge are rebuilding their lives, albeit above wet soggy ground.

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Towers of Toxicity #3
Year 2060

These images conjure up for me vignettes of Kevin Costner's film, Waterworld. I guess this is why I have given this project the working title of the same name. They are pencil roots, draped in a fine filigree of sea grass. They look to my mind like medieval structures. Tree houses. Stilt structures. In this case stilt houses over water. However others might interpret them, I call them the Towers of Toxicity. This is where survivors of the deluge are rebuilding their lives, albeit above wet soggy ground.
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Towers of Toxicity #4
Year 2060

These images conjure up for me vignettes of Kevin Costner's film, Waterworld. I guess this is why I have given this project the working title of the same name. They are pencil roots, draped in a fine filigree of sea grass. They look to my mind like medieval structures. Tree houses. Stilt structures. In this case stilt houses over water. However others might interpret them, I call them the Towers of Toxicity. This is where survivors of the deluge are rebuilding their lives, albeit above wet soggy ground.
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Towers of Toxicity #5
Year 2060

These images conjure up for me vignettes of Kevin Costner's film, Waterworld. I guess this is why I have given this project the working title of the same name. They are pencil roots, draped in a fine filigree of sea grass. They look to my mind like medieval structures. Tree houses. Stilt structures. In this case stilt houses over water. However others might interpret them, I call them the Towers of Toxicity. This is where survivors of the deluge are rebuilding their lives, albeit above wet soggy ground.

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Towers of Toxicity #6
Year 2060
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
The Soggdland Army
Year 2060

(these manrgrove roots lining the banks of a tidal mangrove channel which coincidentally resemble the bizarre Mandrake roots of other another species, I have given the name, the Soggdland Army. They have gathered en-masse besides the icy streams of this wintery region in pursuit of a ragtag posse of Toganite militia. They pause to gather their ranks, before continuing forth to hunt down their adversaries.
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Soggdland #2
Year 2060

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld

Year 2060
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
The Crucifix
Year 2060

In this uncivilized and spoiled world, many of the disenchanted worship false Gods....
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
The God Idol STYRACIFLUA
Year 2060

A huge chunk of polystyrene, probably a discarded section from an ice packing container for the local fishing boats stands in among a mangrove forest. Its exterior worn from the abrasive action applied to it from been churned around most probably for months in the surf zone of this section of coastline. As I looked at it, it reminded me of a totem pole or some other carved plinth in commemoration of the Gods. Hence I gave it a fitting title.

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
The Fountain of Pity
Year 2060

A discarded plastic drinking cup takes on the mantle, The Fountain of Pity. It is a pity that everywhere I probe within the maze of mangrove forest I am continually witness to shards of plastic waste. Strips of it. Clumps of it. All matter of plastic, mulched into the very fabric of these delicate ecosystems. It's a pity beyond words actually. It make me well up inside, with a feeling of guilt and shame that human activity, our collective habit of showering this planet with trillions of tons of discarded plastic waste, has created the reality that one cannot go anywhere on this planet today without been confronted by scene like this.
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
The Civic Alter
Year 2060
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Phanagoria # 1
Year 2060

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Phanagoria # 2
Year 2060
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld

Year 2060
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Allejan Vallis
Year 2060

In the inter-tidal zone of the sea channel between mainland Malaysia and Penang island from the vantage point of Penang bridge I point my cameras down at the mudflats and see a completely different world. I see the Allejan Vallis. A waterlogged landscape. Inundated highways and secondary roads. Inhabitants of the region trapped only some able to float away on small skiffs or rafts.

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Allejan Vallis
Year 2060

In the inter-tidal zone of the sea channel between mainland Malaysia and Penang island from the vantage point of Penang bridge I point my cameras down at the mudflats and see a completely different world. I see the Allejan Vallis. A waterlogged landscape. Inundated highways and secondary roads. Inhabitants of the region trapped only some able to float away on small skiffs or rafts.
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Allejan Vallis
Year 2060

In the inter-tidal zone of the sea channel between mainland Malaysia and Penang island from the vantage point of Penang bridge I point my cameras down at the mudflats and see a completely different world. I see the Allejan Vallis. A waterlogged landscape. Inundated highways and secondary roads. Inhabitants of the region trapped only some able to float away on small skiffs or rafts.
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Ojah Delta
Year 2060

A small speck of leaf clutter in a coastal stream becomes the personification of a lone and lost Boglandian wandering aimlessly in the lower reaches of the Ojah Delta......

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Toganite Clan #1
Year 2060
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Toganite Militia #1
Year 2060

mangrove knee roots yes, but ultimately to my mind they are the personification of the most brutish inhabitants of Waterworld. Let's say the devils of this fable. I call them the Toganite Militia. They are the hardened veterans of many inter tribal skirmishes and they rally together as an unruly sadistic mob whenever they are ordered to do so. Their leader, can be seen in the middle ground, facing the camera, wearing what appears to be a tan coloured furry lapelled bomber jacket.
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Toganite Clan #3
Year 2060

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Toganite Militia #2
Year 2060

mangrove knee roots yes, but ultimately to my mind they are the personification of the most brutish inhabitants of Waterworld. Let's say the devils of this fable. I call them the Toganite Militia. They are the hardened veterans of many inter tribal skirmishes and they rally together as an unruly sadistic mob whenever they are ordered to do so.
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld Year 2060
Gorge of 1000 Serpents
Year 2060
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Swamped Souls
Year 2060

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
The Sogglandia Pipeline
Year 2060
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Boglandian Pilgrims #1
Year 2060

(it was upon seeing these cloaked pilgrims or rather mangrove cone roots covered in sea grass that planted the seed of an idea for Waterworld/Mangrovia/Boglandia. I still haven't yet finalized the title of this project. Their appearance spoke to me. I was entranced by the cone roots uncanny resemblance to human like form, I was convinced I was witness to some strange pagan gathering. I decided they were Boglandians. gathering to pay homage to The Great Mangrovia!).
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Ravaged Ridge
Year 2060

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Grim Peaks
Year 2060
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Boglandian Pilgrims beside Lake Agassiz #1
Year 2060
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Boglandian Pilgrims beside Lake Agassiz #2
Year 2060

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Boglandian Pilgrims beside Lake Agassiz #3
Year 2060
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Boglandian Pilgrims beside Lake Agassiz #5
Year 2060
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Boglandian Pilgrims beside Lake Agassiz #6
Year 2060

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Vindhya Bridge besdies Lake Agassiz.
Year 2060

The remnants of a fishing net snagged into the pencil root system of a Thai mangrove system becomes to me mind an aerial view of the Vindhya Bridge besides Lake Agassiz. It is well documented fact how both the recreational and onshore and offshore fishing industry is creating huge problems for marine life and marine eco systems. Need I say more?
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Environmental-Waterworld
Lake Agassiz
Year 2060
Bibliography Section Article Bibliography Section Catalog Bibliography Section Web Link PDF icon displayed by thumbnail Sold Dot