The Cowboy and the Spaceman
11 February - 18 March, 2006
In a new film and related photographs, prints and sculptures, Orkney artist Colin Kirkpatrick explores two differing views of our planet and its resources and their profound implications for the long-term survival of life on earth.
Taking up economist and philosopher Kenneth Boulding's imagery of the Spaceship Earth, the film contrasts the archetypes of cowboy and spaceman. The cowboy, sitting on his horse overlooking the wide prairies, sees the earth as an endless resource to be used. The spaceman on the other hand, looks at our planet from out of space. He realises that the earth is only a small dot and that he should take good care of it.
"The northern and western fringes of Europe are still considered by many to be our culture’s last local frontiers in terms of both resources and development. My Orkney upbringing, and Oil Town further education, often remind me how fragile and limited many of these resources are. At the same time my childhood perpetually reinforced the frontier-like qualities of the Highland and Island existence." (Colin Kirkpatrick)
In beautiful shots of the Orkney landscape, a series of local people are portrayed and asked what they think they are: a cowboy or a spaceman?
The film forms the central focus of the exhibition and has been developed with our digital coordinator Adam Proctor. The accompanying new series of screenprints and photographs have been editioned at Peacock visual arts.