"The starting point for this print was Thomas More's Utopia. Utopia is a pun on the Greek ou topos meaning 'no place'. I was playing with the idea of there being no Heaven. People are very wedded to the idea of a neat ending: our rational brains would love us to tidy up the mess of the world and to have either Armageddon or Heaven at the end of our existence. But life doesn't work like that - it's a continuum.
"The print has a stormy quality to it. I don't like the plate being wiped too clean in the printing process; I like it to have a sort of antique, dirty look. The basic formal design came from a German mappa mundi called the Ebstorf Map, which was destroyed in the Second World War. It showed Jesus as the body of the world. My daughter often accuses me of setting myself up as God, so I made the lakes and rivers into my body. The whole idea of alchemy and a spiritual body fascinates me.
"I wrote place names on the map with references to modern-day things like 'Internet dating' and 'Binge-drinking'. There are lots of jokey references to ecology and green politics. In the middle of the map is 'Doubt', because a philosopher once said: 'Doubt is the essence of civilization.' The image of a skeletal child is like an early anatomical drawing but here the child is covered in bigotriesL he has 'Racism' on one hand and 'Sexism' on the other. 'Fear' is in his guts, because all bigotry starts with fear.
"A light shines out of my bottom hole, down onto a monastic building on the mountainside. The landscape around it shows a pilgrimage scene with people in religious garb carrying funny dolls and backpacks. The map is very flat but the drawing at the bottom has a 3-D quality: it's like the difference between the realms of the spiritual and the human, or the split between mind and body."
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