Caravan of Despair
By Peter Ward
Victoria, Australia: No Shyacking Press, 2020. Edition of 6 + AP.
20 x 30 x 2cm (7.87 x 11.8"); 36 pages including pastedowns. Bound using single sheet coptic binding. Printed with multi block linocuts on hahnemuhle 300gsm paper. Signed and numbered by the artist.
Peter Ward: "'Caravan of Despair' started life as a dialogue on how I feel about the state of our environment. The caravan itself is a juxtaposition of a suburban home with an image of a medieval cart that passed briefly through my consciousness at some stage. I remember the original cart being particularly destructive but mine is more a symbol of hopelessness in the face of destruction. The house symbol appears throughout the book and originally derived from the idea of ‘small suburban dramas’ where we look out from our supposed domestic security to see forces beyond our control.
"The factories juxtaposed with the church is a political statement. I feel there’s a symbiotic relationship between christianity and capitalism. The Protestant work ethic as a cornerstone of our destructive economic system. Postmodern serfdom is how I like to refer to it.
"The fish and the cars placed vertically is simply a surreal depiction of a world irrevocably altered.
"The ‘Goat in a Boat’ was originally subtitled ‘Passage from Fukashima’ showing man and beast fleeing. A little further along in the book we see where they end up.
"When I put the crow together with the ‘african mask / face’ I was immediately struck by the Easter Island feel to the image and the story of the Easter Island civilization’s self-destruction was an appropriate bonus for my narrative."