‘The Romanticist’s Nightmare’ – An original poem accompanied by long lost historical archive footage of nature, contrasted with horrifying scenes of pollution, as a response to William Morris as a romanticist poet and proto-environmentalist during the time of the industrial revolution and the destruction of natural habitats and ecosystems.
I have often thought about our responsibilities as artists to convey the issues that are most important to our generation. For me environmental destruction is at the top of that list, and I believe that in some ways we now live in what could be described as ‘The Romanticist’s Nightmare’, in that all the fears and warnings presented by the great poets of the 19th century regarding the dangers of losing touch with the natural world, have now escalated to a reality in which the future of our species and planet is now in jeopardy. I have narrated a poem addressing the importance of maintaining a connection with nature now more than ever, paying homage to the ages before, in which great minds and thinkers such as William Morris opened up our spirits to the wonders of the natural world and the importance of protecting it in the face of oblivion.
Brandon RA Pestano is a 23-year-old creative born in the UK of Guyanese heritage. His work bridges the boundaries between Journalism, Poetry, Film & Philosophy. In 2019 he wrote and narrated a short video for BBC Ideas on the subject of Infinity + Fractal Geometry, which reached 120,000+ views and was featured on the BBC Home Page & BBC Radio 6. In 2020 he launched PSYCHIC GARDEN magazine https://www.the-psychic-garden.com/, partnered with tree planting organisation One Tree Planted, working as founder & executive editor, having interviewed many of the world’s most exciting emerging contemporary artists. This year he also attended the annual Climate Story Lab Conference held in London, a 4 day discussion between artists, politicians and scientists regarding the collective fight to reduce the effects of climate change.
William Morris Wallpaper Man is an exhibition of new work by the Storybox Collective created during the current pandemic. They are a group of artists, designers, illustrators and writers working together to apply a serendipitous approach to collaborative making. Their work for William Morris: Wallpaper Man is inspired by the cultural and political legacy of Morris and explores a diverse range of themes, including: eco-socialism, the value of craft over mass production and eco materialism. From the printmaker and her 4-year-old daughter foraging for oak galls to make natural dyes, to the project using AI to generate new Morris patterns, the diversity of themes and range of responses reinforce the resonance of William Morris’ life’s work today. Work from the exhibition can be seen on their website https://thestoryboxcollective.org.uk/
Follow their progress on Instagram: