A journal of art + literature engaging with nature, culture, the environment & ecology

He who created the original paradise, promised to restore what was lost

He who created the original paradise, promised to restore what was lost

Frances Alleblas, The Netherlands-Singapore

A deserted tropical island. A utopian setting. The idea of paradise on earth is one that originates back to the Bible, to the Garden of Eden before the fall of man.

 

Paradise islands are highly desirable places. But does paradise truly exist?

 

In this series, I photographed a man-made tropical island created for recreation and pleasure: Sentosa Island, historically known as Pulau Blakang Mati, literally meaning “island behind death” in Malay. Upon closer inspection, nature on this island is a facade. The hollow rocks disintegrate with time. They decay to reveal empty shells held up by plastic pipes, some about to collapse, a symbol for a paradise lost.

 

Through this work, I question the idea of paradise, innocence and utopia.

 
He who created the original paradise, promised to restore what was lost    © Frances Alleblas

He who created the original paradise, promised to restore what was lost

© Frances Alleblas

 
He who created the original paradise, promised to restore what was lost    © Frances Alleblas

He who created the original paradise, promised to restore what was lost

© Frances Alleblas

 
He who created the original paradise, promised to restore what was lost    © Frances Alleblas

He who created the original paradise, promised to restore what was lost

© Frances Alleblas

 

Frances Alleblas is an artist from The Netherlands whose work includes photography, film and drawings. She is currently working on a project, the island, which traces her lifelong fascination with tropical islands and the fantasies she has about them, fed by the imagery of adventure films and novels. She has spent twenty years living in Southeast Asia, first in Indonesia and since 2002, she has been residing in Singapore. She can be found at https://www.francesalleblas.com/.

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