An Uneasy Sense of Optimism About the Future

Thomas Oliver
An Uneasy Sense of Optimism About the Future, 2020
Kodak Edrua metallic print mounted to acrylic and aluminium, 92cm x 61cm


My photograph expresses the uneasy sense of optimism I feel departing from 2020 and heading into 2021. I’ve used myself as the central figure, for although the world has been affected by this pandemic as a whole, everyone’s outcome and methods of coping have been unique. For me, an optimist, I lean contrapposto favourably into the sun, and leave my shadow on the wall behind me. However, this harsh light source is obscured by the wall in the foreground; its luminous potential for a regenerative fresh start is met at the onset with uncertainty. Similarly, the antennae mimic my expression on the roof behind me pointing to Mt Coot-tha, yet the coaxial communication cable is cut, and dangles loose. The parking lines hint at the location of commercial suburbia, but it is stark like a fresh page, and could be any rooftop car-park in Queensland or Australia.

The image has been RA4 printed onto metallic paper; its sheen and colours are enticing, and the acrylic mounting gives the work a substantial weight and sense of volume. It is self-consciously optimistic, yet open, and still vulnerable.
Image taken by Fausto Vergara