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In the 1950’s, intermodal shipping containers became the international standard for moving goods from destination to destination without having to unload and reload the freight across different modes of transport. In subsequent years, these versatile steel boxes have been repurposed and reinterpreted, and the modern human uses them for anything from storage solutions to retail shopping spaces. Some contemporary architects have even turned them into avante-garde dwellings. This evolution of the shipping container has changed the relationship society has with them. What was once a means to move a product efficiently from A to B, has now become the space in which to house not only our nearest and dearest physical possessions, but our nearest and dearest family members.
This evolution has been the starting point for Darren Doye’s artwork on display in his latest exhibition at Manyung Gallery in Malvern. He has accurately portrayed animals used for transporting goods in the past such as Donkeys, Camels and Elephants and morphed them with shipping containers. The transformed animals, complete with logistical adverts on the sides of their boxes, stand isolated in front of brightly coloured backgrounds as if lit dramatically by a bright spotlight. He takes the concept further to include other animals like Zebra’s, Giraffes and Rhino’s creating a light-hearted metaphor for globalization and the migratory lifestyle of the modern world.
These pieces, along with Darren’s famous iconic walls and cow paintings, are a depiction of a simpler life where the journey was often as important as the destination. As modern society becomes more obsessed with productivity gains, one has to ask are we missing out on something along the way?