Tim Bowtell's thought provoking mural 'Cornography', painted on the side wall of the Seniors' Centre during the Benalla Wall to Wall Street Arts Festival 2018, clearly causes viewers to pause to reflect upon Sustainable Development.
It is also a stand alone work by Tim, a leader in Benalla's creative economy, creating a powerful call for a sustainable future, a call he returned to during the Window to Window Festival with portraits of Greta Thunberg (2019) and David Attenborough (2020).
It's now December 2021. The Council decided not to go ahead with a mural painted by Tim at this year's Window to Window. The side window of the Council Offices is eerily empty, street discussions muted.
Perhaps it's time to revisit and reflect upon 'Cornography', a powerful mural by a leader in Benalla's creative economy, as we near the conclusion of the 'International Year of the Creative Economy for Sustainable Development'.
Tim Bowtell writes about 'Cornography', Wall to Wall Festival 2018
The city scape in the background describes the affluent Western world fed by these farming practices, people disconnected and too busy to think about where their food comes from and how it is produced.
Look carefully in the top left corner and you will see a bulldozer clearing the last remaining old growth forest. Acres of monoculture corn and soy sprawl across the horizon where these forests once stood. The primate on the stump sits helplessly wondering where its home has gone. The dead canary sends an alarming message to stop these unsustainable practices before all species on the planet are doomed.
The cows are locked in small yards. Part of the production line, they are force-fed corn on a conveyor belt. The markings on the cows form the world map indicating that this is a world problem, while on the other cow the face of an African child peers out, wondering why that corn isn’t grown to feed his starving country.
The whole scene plays out in knee-deep rising water caused by global warming and rising sea levels.
My mural was inspired after watching a documentary called ‘Cowspiracy - the sustainability secret’. For me it was a game changer. I became a vegetarian the very next day.
“Filmmaker Kip Andersen uncovers the most destructive industry facing the planet today – and investigates why the world’s leading environmental organisations are too afraid to talk about it.
Animal agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation, water consumption and pollution, is responsible for more greenhouse gases than the transportation industry, and is a primary driver of rainforest destruction, species extinction, habitat loss, topsoil erosion, ocean “dead zones,” and virtually every other environmental ill. Yet it goes on, almost entirely unchallenged.”