WATERWORLD
 
Waterworld is a statement referenced to 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 and rivers and the consequences of climate change. I attempt to offer visual allegory 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 and dismiss scientific warnings of climate change and the dire consequences of global warming.

By focusing my lens on Malaysian and Thai coastal mangrove forests, wetlands, shrimping farms, industrial coastal wasteland, beaches and river estuaries, I find elements within these environments which I believe create the illusion we are peering into an imaginary, almost pagan world. One far removed from our technologically advanced age.  A world where ungodly inhabitants/pagan tribes, constantly wander within this liquid morass in search of dry land, for a better quality of life. Due to the scarcity of resources, life is a constant struggle.  And quite often violent.  To give them hope they create deities and worship false Gods.

To create this visual allegory I purposely photographed; natural organic anomalies I found within the mangrove plant and tree roots systems, the inorganic blight and global pandemic of discarded plastic waste that is discharged annually into our rivers and seas.  And I attempt to point our attention towards the more ominous ramifications of the shrimping industry; namely the destruction of mangrove forests for pond construction and the contamination of the adjacent waterways from chemical discharge associated with shrimp excrement and antibiotics/anti bacterial chemistry.

Waterworld
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Waterworld

Art work detail
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Waterworld Hahnemuhle PhotoRag BrightWhite 310gsm 100% Cotton acid free
Ziplok # 2
2015-2017

140cm x 100cm x paper size
120cm x 80cm image size
Edition 5 + 1 AP

101.3cm x 74.1cm paper size
81.3cm x 54.1cm image size
Edition 5 + 1 AP

76cm x 56cm paper size
60cm x 40cm image size
Edition 5 + 1 AP

General Ziplok ( an intentional play on words of a brand of plastic storage bags) within the context of natural aquatic environments, even one as troubled as the mythological realm called WaterWorld is bad news. Of all the protagonists within this morality fable, Ziplok who leads a great wandering army sows the most destruction. He, together with his henchmen, a great league of trillions, who drift with him upon tides and currents, represent a great evil dark force that snare, suffocate and strangle the unwary. Due to their synthetic makeup they are virtually indestructible and their presence has profound implications for the eco-systems and all other inhabitants struggling for survival within this liquid morass that is WaterWorld.

Yes Ziplok and his plague of maritime brigands represent an ominous plague that have come into being. Principally due to the divergence from sound ethical and moral practices by a much earlier WaterWorld civilization. The now defunct Homo Sapiens. Their demise and disappearance came about as a result of greed, mass consumerism, an addiction to CO2 and garbage. It was their willingness to jettison much of their ‘industrial output’ into the surrounding environment, in particular the surrounding oceans, which where at one time, at a much lower level. By treating their great ocean larder as a toilet, it was only inevitable that they would seal their fate and a more ominous idealogical group would emerge from the vacuum left in place. Welcome to General Ziplok. He’s planning to be around for the next 10,000 years.


Art work detail
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Waterworld Hahnemuhle PhotoRag BrightWhite 310gsm 100% Cotton acid free
Plains of Vileness #1
2015-2017

140cm x 100cm x paper size
120cm x 80cm image size
Edition 5 + 1 AP

101.3cm x 74.1cm paper size
81.3cm x 54.1cm image size
Edition 5 + 1 AP

76cm x 56cm paper size
60cm x 40cm image size
Edition 5 + 1 AP

In the port and industrial area of Tambon Ratsada, Amphoe Mueang, Phuket, I came across a 30m long patch of stagnant water and mud. A heavily polluted eddy of the Tha Chin creek. It’s black fetid water meandering through an area of godowns, truck mechanic workshops, spray paint depots and scruffy residences. The oily black liquid of the creek gurgled out into the nearby litter strewn bay on the Eastern flank of the island abutting Old Phuket town.

This cesspool before me, was covered in a green slime. In effect algae feeding off the rotting matter that was mulched into the sludge. There was a very strong ammonia smell rising off this toxic brew. Hmm I thought. Interesting.

I looked long and hard at this scene before me and used my powers of pareidolia and apophenia to determine that in actual fact, I was looking across a very large tract of land. Many kilometers in length. An enormous swathe seen from a high altitude vantage point. Possibly from a winged WaterWorld dragon or some other airborne contraption. As I gazed down upon this beautiful meadowland with its picture postcard hills and sparkling lakes, the sight reminded me of landscapes not unlike I had seen flying over central Vietnam or Thailand. Even Britain for that matter. We know how green England can be.

But then I came back to my senses. This was no enchanting scene at all but was in fact the notorious Plains of Vileness. A realm so toxic, so imbued with great thermals of nitrogen and hydrogen that any poor WaterWorld acolyte foolish enough to attempt a crossing, would succumb to the symptoms of burning eyes, nose, throat and respiratory tract. Resulting in blindness, lung damage and death….

Now let’s ponder for a moment what noxious gases we humans actually spew into the atmosphere on a yearly basis. Just a modest 45 billion tons. Now that is what we might call just plain foolish.

Worldwide emissions of carbon dioxide — the greenhouse gases most responsible for global warming — were on the rise again in 2017 after three years of little-to-no growth, a study released Monday found.

Global emissions from all human activities reached an all-time record 45 billion tons in 2017, following a projected 2% rise in burning fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal, the study revealed.The report by the Global Carbon Project team dashed hopes that emissions had peaked. “We hoped that we had turned the corner … We haven’t,” said study co-author Rob Jackson of Stanford University.



Art work detail
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Waterworld Hahnemuhle PhotoRag BrightWhite 310gsm 100% Cotton acid free
Swamped Souls
2015-2017

140cm x 100cm x paper size
120cm x 80cm image size
Edition 5 + 1 AP

101.3cm x 74.1cm paper size
81.3cm x 54.1cm image size
Edition 5 + 1 AP

76cm x 56cm paper size
60cm x 40cm image size
Edition 5 + 1 AP

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