Paintings by Rob D Davies
Sacred Landfill is a painting from a series, by Wirral artist Rob D Davies, that, in spirit, parallels Turner’s idyllic landscape scenes of Nemis, Italy. Nemis was the sacred grove where, in antiquity, it was said Diana dwelt. Scottish anthropologist James George Frazer also made Nemis the home of the King Of The Wood, a figure representing a kind of ‘vegetation myth’ in which the world undergoes regular renewal, ensuring life’s continuation.
The word ‘environment’ is used a lot these days. In one sense it is just like Nemis’ sacred grove in that we, too, are seeking to ensure that our world flourishes for the season(s) to come. Davies’ paintings, however, question the real-ness of such a romanticised concept of the environment by inhabiting it with unnatural looking figures (like those in artist’s impressions for proposed developments) and by throwing in very ordinary-looking pockets of wasteland.
The desire for the idyllic landscape or utopian world where we are at one with nature sits uncomfortably alongside the dirt and chaos of reality. In the modern English countryside, with its varied pockets of semi-industrial and semi-wild views, Davies has found a perfect anchor for these contrasting concepts of environment.