2012, Oil on Linen, 100 x 100cm
Finalist, the Gainsborough Green Art Award 2012
When Ronald Regan was President, he moved the Cold War into an entirely new arena by approving the weaponisation of space. Amid much pomp and ceremony, work began on the so-called Star Wars “defensive shield.” There is a theory that the astronomical expenditure required of the USSR to counter the American proposal was so crippling, that this act alone left Mikhail Gorbachev little choice but launch Glasnost and Perestroika - leading to a détente with the US and Western Europe.
The program experienced few successes and numerous failures - although due the secrecy involving all aspects of the Cold War, it is highly debatable whether any part of the system was operational before being suddenly rendered redundant when the US’s long-feared “enemy” no longer existed.
But there is a certain sense of discomfort in knowing that to this day somewhere in the sky there are masses of “protective” weapons slowly rusting away, awaiting in silent vigil, their ultimate destiny.