Paradise Lost, 2016, oil on canvas, 91 x 91cm

Out of Sight, 2017, oil on canvas, 91 x 91cm

Jungle to Jungle, 2016, oil on canvas, 91 x 91cm

Post Natural, 2017, oil on canvas, 91 x 91cm

Fractured Canopy, 2017, oil on canvas, 91 x 91cm

Hideaway, 2017, oil and wax on canvas, 91 x 91cm

Paradise Arcade, 2017, oil on canvas, 91 x 91cm

Deep Forest, 2017, oil on canvas, 91 x 91cm

Heart of Darkness, 2017, oil on canvas, 81 x 63cm

Wish You Were Here, 2017, oil on canvas, 71 x 56cm

Currently in Paradise, 2017, oil on canvas, 71 x 56cm

After Midnight, 2017, oil on canvas, 71 x 56cm

Get Lost, 2017, oil on canvas, 61 x 46cm

High Enough, 2017, oil on canvas, 61 x 46cm

Perpetua, 2017, oil on canvas, 40 x 40cm

Promised Land, 2016, oil on canvas, 40 x 40cm

Jungle Dance, 2016, oil on canvas, 40 x 40cm

Dream Sequence, 2017, oil on canvas, 40 x 40cm

Catch the Sun, 2017, oil on canvas, 40 x 40cm

Bamboozled, 2017, oil on canvas, 40 x 40cm

Far Out, 2017, oil on canvas, 40 x 40cm

Destination Unknown, 2017, oil on canvas, 40 x 40cm

Welcome to Paradise, 2016, oil on canvas, 40 x 40cm

Afterglow, 2016, oil on canvas, 40 x 40cm

Fantasy Island, 2017, oil on canvas, 40 x 40cm

Adrift, 2017, oil on canvas, 40 x 40cm

Sultry Garden, 2017, oil on canvas, 40 x 40cm

Dream on, 2017, oil on canvas, 40 x 40cm

Twilight Zone, 2017, oil on canvas, 40 x 40cm

Cloud None, 2017, oil on canvas, 40 x 40cm

Paradise Pending, 2017, oil on canvas, 40 x 40cm

Honeymoon Period, 2017, oil on canvas, 40 x 40cm

Easily Lost, 2017, oil on canvas, 40 x 40cm

Tropical Horror, 2016, oil on canvas, 30 x 30cm

Sunset Cloak, 2016, oil on canvas, 30 x 25cm

Twilight Veneer, 2017, oil on canvas, 30 x 25cm

Vizard, 2016, oil on canvas, 30 x 20cm

Hotel California, 2017, oil on canvas, 30 x 20cm

Lost at Sea, 2017, oil on canvas, 20 x 30cm

Usual Illusion, 2017, oil on canvas, 20 x 30cm

The only true paradise is a paradise that we have lost.

Marcel Proust

 

The travel experience promises adventure, growth and authenticity; a journey into the unknown. Yet, in our highly connected global environment, experiences often become the product of spectacle, the mediated image and desire.

Shaped by exotic tropes and clichés Out of Sight presents a dark and seductive paradise that is both arresting and unsettling. The work examines ‘exoticised place’ (often portrayed through social media, tourism and film) teasing the space between authentic and inauthentic, masking and mocking notions of paradise. In the work, tropical motifs are layered and fractured just beyond our grasp; digital auroras emerge from silhouetted skylines; and melancholy figures sit idly, obscured by landscapes and mask-like motifs.

Out of Sight invites contemplation of contemporary experience asking the viewer to examine their own worldly encounters. If we encounter the world, in favour of controlling an image, we create a place that is out of reach and out of sight.

Out of Sight is informed by Simpson’s 2016 artist residencies in Chiang Mai (Thailand) and Flinders Island (Tasmania) where he contemplated his own expectations of romanticised location and authentic experience.

© 2020 by Josh Simpson