The Great Escape is an exhibition which explores the meaning of ‘Romanticism’ in today’s ever changing modern landscape. It takes a revisionist path back to the emotional expression of ‘Romanticism’. Not so much contextualizing such traditions to the present, but showing a continuation for the Romantic traditions for the re-evaluation of the scenery and discovering its symbolic qualities.
The works on display consider the past in a new light to discover new perspectives on what is happening today, and to characterize the social and environmental concerns of today’s modern society. Between them all, they seek out idyllic solitary environments to which we vacate ourselves in, in an attempt to temporarily escape from the overwhelming thoughts, feelings or issues we may have. However, the appearance of these ‘idyllic places’ do not present themselves in sublime open landscapes, reminiscent to predecessors of the ‘Romantic’ movement, instead they modestly pay testament to the current modern environment; thus re-evaluating the ‘ideal/fantasy world’ and proposing the idea that Romanticism exists in the more humble common place.
Some of these environments come in the guise of our own backyard gardens, to parks, schools, childhood, sport, music festivals and even in films. Each piece presents to us a different example of how we seek out the means for a temporary escape.