The Lantern Wastes

Trevor Van den Eijnden
Acrylics, and silver on board
61 x 61 cm
2013—ongoing series

The Narnian lamppost functions as a beacon in the middle of a landscaped named The Lantern Wastes that stands as symbolic of a middle land of indecision. In C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia it shows the Pevensie children the way to Narnia from the Wastes, as well as the way back to Earth (via the Wardrobe). It is a halfway-thing, not quite Narnian nor something one would find in 1940s’ England either as it burned gas, rather than modern lightbulbs. Acknowledging that despite presenting a beautiful fiction for children (and adults), the Narnia series is, at its core, a crude allegory for Christianity that remains unapologetically xenophobic and misogynistic. With that in mind, it is important to state that the inspiration for this project does not in itself present a justification. It is an abstracted starting point, thus the need to delimit the aforementioned problems. The project is focusing on this lamppost as a visual metaphor or signifier to explore our own indecision in regard to the Anthropocene, and the stemming eco-dysptopic plausibilities that lay before us.

This project is part of a broader exploration into pop culture items and moments not intended to be read as Anthropocene related but that in hind sight do.