On the sixth day God said “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:26)
In western society during the 13th century the idea of dominion over nature was compounded by the Italian theologian philosopher St. Thomas Aquinas (c.1225–1274). In his most widely read work, ‘Summa Theologica’ (published in 1485), Aquinas wrote that God had created animals and plants for the benefit of man and that animals cannot reason therefore man may use them as he wishes. He postulated that killing animals is only a violation if they are someone’s property. Aquinas quotes Genesis 9:3 “Everything that moves and lives shall be meat to you”. Ethical thought on animals only began challenging these assertions during the 18th century.
In our contemporary world animals are subjected to countless acts of violence that are both culturally and legally approved – violence that ranges from intensive agricultural systems to mass extinction through human activities. Industrialisation, domestication and capitalism have augmented human detachment from animals arriving at a point where they are perpetually objectified and commonly regarded as commodities for human consumption. I am interested in confronting anthropocentric ideas and activity, focusing on our complex relationship with animals. Reoccurring themes within my work address speciesism, objectification, manipulation, trauma and empathy.
Dominion is an installation of drawings, an uncompromising look at the brutal reality of industrial farming and animal slaughter.
Opening Times: (by appointment only)