NE8: Attila Feszt: “Fake Plastic Trees”
Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Monday, August 28, 2017
National Art Gallery of the Bahamas
West and West Hill Street
Nassau The Bahamas
A viable community is a group of people with common interests who benefit from living as a group in order to allow social interaction, mutual assistance, a feeling of belonging, and economic reinforcement’
Many small and long-established communities throughout the world are being threatened by changes which are undercutting their basic reasons for existing as a viable community in the sense defined above. The great paradox of tourist-oriented communities in particular is that their very success in attracting tourists leads to the degradation of the qualities which attracted the tourists in the first place.
From David H Scott ‘Some Notes on the Future of Hope Town’ 1979
I live in Hope Town, a quaint tropical island paradise and one of the original settlements of the Bahamas. Natural beauty surrounds you with the echo of a simpler way of life. I surf as often as there are waves which centres me, focuses me on the present. Living here inspired me to pursue my creative dream and illustrate this stunning corner of the Bahamas. In recent years real estate signs have been popping up which planted the seed of this artistic commentary.
Beautiful vistas are now spotted with colourful distractions. Exclusive. Home Rentals. For Sale. Ocean View. Great Rental. Buy-your-piece-of-paradise. Ever increasing development has transformed this idyllic island into a commodity of indulgent oases, hermetically sealed against sustainable island life. Transplanted lives in a plastic bubble of consumption, while working locals struggle to keep up with the inflated cost of living.
Fake Plastic Trees seeks to highlight the difference in lifestyles and awareness by creating a physical barrier that prevents you from clearly seeing what is right in front of you. A concrete visual obstruction as analogy. A space of contemplation that enables a dialogue of responsible and sustainable tourism. How we can make forward progress while preserving our culture and traditions, as well as the natural world around us?
Attila Feszt was born in Nassau in 1976 and has drawn for as long as he can remember. He studied in the UK and graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University with a BA (Hons) in History of Art and Design with Graphic Design in 1999. His art and design work is an attempt to capture the essence of island life in the Bahamas using original pattern designs, paintings and illustrations inspired by its pristine natural beauty. He uses simple and familiar design elements that translate easily to functional applications. He combines his passion for drawing, screen-printing, graphic design and comic books, with inspiration from observing the natural world on his home of Hope Town – usually on his way to surf.
He has exhibited throughout the Bahamas including Transforming Spaces 2012, 2014 and 2016, Fash|Art 2012 (where he won the Jackson Burnside Award for Emerging Visual Artists), and his inaugural solo show ‘Life on my Island’ at Doongalik Gallery in 2013. He has had work shown internationally at the Bahamian Embassy in Beijing for the 2013 NAGB/Colina Calendar, and Caribbean: Together Apart as part of the Venice Biennale. Much of his recent work is inspired by the motto ‘by reducing the world we make it larger’.