DayZ en plein air is a continuation of my exploration of Video Games vs Contemporary Art.
I have produced a number of pieces looking at this relationship, translating digitally manufactured landscapes into traditional painted landscapes and vice versa. A recent series of paintings exploring the idea of location and emigration through live painted webcam scenes has led to the development and return to video games as source imagery.
With painting from webcams, I really enjoyed the demonstrated sense of time and the haste required by these paintings. Skies and angles can change without warning.
I focused on this when working with the DayZ paintings. DayZ is a popular online indie game, whereby the protagonist is dropped unassumingly into a post-apocalyptic eastern European country. The landscape is vast and beautiful, not to mention full of zombies. The purpose of the game is purely survival. Other players can work alongside you or can murder you and steal your supplies. It is this hostile environment and difficult gameplay that drove me to use DayZ. I like the idea that painting directly from this game, from a live screen, has it’s inherent hazards, forcing me to paint quickly and move on. If you stay stationary in DayZ you do not last very long at all.
Painting from a game displayed on a screen is much more enjoyable than painting from a photograph. The game has all the beautiful ambience, wildlife, weather changes and interaction you don’t get from a photograph.
Through this small series of work I have married the idea of traditional en plein air painting with the contemporary nature of competitive online survival games.
All works are 12” x 18” Oil on Board, 2014.
Exhibited by Third Person View as part of Far Lands in the Millennium Galleries, Sheffield during Games Britannia 2014.