In a recent search on Google, 'Paradise' was listed as a hotel, and 'paradise lost' was a dark rock band. On further perusal there were brothels and chat sites, oh, and a poem also as it happens. Unlike other mythical constructs Paradise was once a place on earth. We were there but we blew it; so now it's the job queue or else. For a long time hence Paradise was a place to dream about, we'd like to go there one day, for sure. For the secular folk amongst us the idea, so besmirched by religious repression, might have lost its cache. But in an era when affluence and misery are bedfellows, the well-heeled but angst-ridden period right now, there might be something to the tale after all. What is Paradise exactly? If attitude is the answer then all that's required is focus, a little shift in perception and everything's nicely nirvana. But Paradise is material, substantial and fleshy. Get what you want and you might find yourself embroiled. Too little and the same appears to be true. This of course is the question that paradise... a hell of a place both poses and variously ponders, a thematic point of reference that eleven artists are here invited to consider. Neither pessimistic nor optimistic their responses are largely existential. Indeed the rub of the 'Paradise' dilemma looms large in their divergent approaches - without a bit of struggle it might as well be hell.
- Damian Smith