As David Cass’s practice has developed, so too has the imagery through which he presents his ongoing study of water. As his painted bodies of water have filled and risen, thicker marks and more permanent paints have become flooding and over-spilling. From imagination – or exaggeration – in the case of his Overpaintings, to documentary in the case of his Almería, Florence, Venice and Paris flood works. This ongoing series – titled Rising Horizon – zooms out to explore the universal topic of sea rise.
Our planet’s systems are being pushed beyond their limits: the health of its water, air and soils under siege. From deforestation and soil erosion, to pollution of rivers, oceans and the air we breathe, our planetary health is waning badly.
Sea rise is a very real threat to millions, yet in his beautiful and inspired repurposing and reuse of materials David Cass illuminates an alternative future. A future where the products we consume have lives beyond landfill sites. A future where resources are part of a circular economy, one that recognizes their value and the true cost of their waste.
The horizon is rising. Just how far is now down to us.
Professor David Reay: Chair in Carbon Management, Edinburgh University
The notion of a rising horizon is both evocative and timely. Sea levels are rising. This new global phenomenon needs our attention. Cass’s series of paintings creatively pose the topic from dozens of diverse perspectives, upon a variety of supports. Despite appearing to be playful in form, these paintings act as a kind of miniature icepick to the brain, raising awareness.
John Englander: oceanographer & author