Wednesday, 20 January 2010

It's My Island




After visiting The Royal Academy's new contemporary show 'Earth', it was these simple images that lingered longest. The photographs form part of the work by Finnish artist Antti Laitinen.
He built the island by dragging 200 sand bags into the Baltic Sea over a three month period. Enduring harsh weather conditions and pushing himself to the limits. The scenes evoke fundamental issues of citizenship and identity, here one man's own micro-nation.
The island didn't survive for long as the storms blew and even though Laitinen made running repairs, the elements won over. All that is left are these beautiful images, serene and
alluring.
Although the message is only loosely related to climate change, the meaning could stem from the notion that people would like to have their own island.. the ultimate ideal of personal space. Even if John Donne once wrote "No man is an island", it hasn't stopped him building one.
I know I want one...

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