My name is Daniel Bethell and I am almost a Fine Art graduate from Falmouth University. I am a passionate artist and traveller who is currently applying to local and international residencies to continue my professional practice.
Why choose a subject area such as Utopia/Dystopia?
My interest in utopian landscapes originates from my fascination with modernist architecture and science-fiction. I began designing my own architectural spaces with digital software which featured an unlimited expanse of space with a revolving perspective. The landscapes highlighted a horizon line which is lost via the overdevelopment of our cities. The multiplicity of these monumental structures are contained until they have fallen to ruins. My practice uses deconstruction as a process to tangibly expose the inner-workings of domestic spaces. I am interested in representing spaces that sit closer to an audience’s occupancy, as they question the sheer scale and strength of these physical acts.
How do you think the subject is relevant today?
I feel the idealism of the future representing sustainable growth is questionable in a time of BREXIT, TRUMP and NUCLEAR WAR. Throughout history, architecture has acted as a monument of civilisation, but the fragility of present structures whether connected to local redevelopment or the arising Syrian Civil War features uncertainty. The translucency of these globalised political events have become part of the contemporary moment. As artist’s like myself are using this language to comment, protest and visualise the currency of these actions.
What is it about the home you find so interesting to work with?
I feel a home owns a personality and a set of characteristics derived from the occupant’s aesthetic taste or class. I previously commented on the utopian architecture I experienced in Frankfurt, Germany but noticed the minimalism of concrete and steel structures were restricting. The language was left cold and bare due to the viewer having no relationship to the material. My exploration of raw and found material associated to domestic spaces illustrates something familiar whilst composed in an ambiguous assemblage. I feel the sculptures react differently by owning an aesthetic. I feel observing these political issues openly creates something poetic rather than a literal representation.