The Era of Hopeful Monsters is an accumulation of images that delve into our ideas of what is nature and what is urban. A safety rail inside a cave, infrastructure toppled by reckless drivers, butterflies feeding on cut fruit, trees and shrubs cut and pruned for aesthetics or convenience: they are all forms of human marks made on our environment. The images also show moments where these environments seep and spread into one another, each one attempting to gain the upper hand.
The series creates its own world. It is one that is familiar yet other. The view I bring to the work is one that is simultaneously optimistic and skeptical. I doubt the romanticism of environmentalism and I am drawn to moments of dysfunction, failed intentions and accidental traces of action. But despite my sometimes-cynical outlook toward the built environment, I find that the images I have gathered are moments of beauty. Sometimes this beauty is bittersweet, the dysfunction strangely enigmatic. The world created by my work encompasses both the utopic and the rebellious. It is a reflection of the world we inhabit in our daily lives, parallel to the real world. The vision presented in the work is one of my subconscious, encapsulating and balancing my doubts and hopes, the mundane and the sublime.
All images ©Caleb Churchill