The Good Life

 

'The Good Life' was an installation that comprised my end of year Chelsea College of Art MA show, 1997. It consisted of 8 discrete objects of various kinds: including two video monitors. The installation explored themes of primitivism, authenticity, and nature. I was interested in how, in our era, these are commodified, repackaged and sold back to us as lifestyle options.

 

     
The Good Life 1

In the foreground was a video in which I repeatedly write my name with a pen held in my left foot. Behind that was a handmade paper bag bearing the Habitat logo written in pencil. On the back wall was a sculpture that was an attempt to make an ergonomically designed tea dispenser.

     
The Good Life 2

As part of the installation I made a bookshelf for one book that slotted into a groove on the end. The bookshelf was based on IKEAs 'Lack' shelf and the book was an early edition of Kiplings Jungle Book.

 
     
The Good Life 3

The Good Life is a term that refers to a noble or virtuous life. It is also the name of a 70s sitcom. The opening credits featured animated petals falling off a flower. I drew these to look like they had fallen from one drawing to another that was on the floor.

 
     
The Good Life 5

This sculpture, made from supermarket cardboard boxes, is a giant replica of a Swiss Army knife. Many people, especially men, imagine surviving in the wild with the help of such a tool.

 
     
The Good Life 6

An alternative view

 
     
The Good Life 7

Hidden in a space at the back of the installation was a darkened room showing a video of me sleeping in a sleeping bag on a hilltop, with motorway lights in the background.