Expedition of the Fantastical explores the cultural implications of exploration and colonization in the Victorian Era and postulates the impact of future colonization of Mars. From a settler viewpoint, I explore personal and political narratives, culture, beliefs and ideas about our identities. I endeavour to create a dialogue and a fluidity between charcoal drawings referenced from Victorian archival photos and painted surreal Martian landscapes, derivative of Science Fiction. With the underpinning of decolonization, my aim is to engender the viewer to consider the implications of colonization on humanity and consider their own ideas about the future. At the important time in history we are looking at the effect of paternalism on marginalized people. A mindful approach to any system that organizes individuals and communities, such as Martian settlements will determine how we move forward in that regard.
Exploration during the Victorian era has drastically changed the world we live in today. It impacted all aspects of the communities that it conquered and interacted with, enforcing its own rules and governance, with loss of tradition and traditional practices through assimilation. Conversely it expanded trade which resulted in an expanded palate, immigration and invariably, a global market and culture. During the Victorian era, cultural identity was diverse; today cultural lines are blurred as western ideals prevail. When we travel to Mars, we will do so as Earthlings but our descendants will be Martians. Our identities, physical characteristics, lifestyles, homes, and work will all be impacted.