May 1, 2014 § Leave a comment

The context to the bottle cap mandala print series derives from my own expression of personal views of consumerism and capitalism, strongly associating myself as being an anti-capitalist and anti-consumerist. With my design work I want to illustrate the message to people that corporations, brands, and the consumer culture that comes with it, are manipulative, lying, and deceiving creations, that exploit third world (and second world: China) countries intensively. I want to inform people of the damage that consumerism and capitalism has on the world through a synergy of images and text. The result would create a kind of narrative, whereby a story would unfold via a combination of these words and designs. The imagery displayed is that of my collection of bottle caps (of which are predominantly branded with Transnational Corporations (TNCs)), which have been manipulated in a manner that represents the religious art of a mandala, of which is the main artistic form found within the Hindu and Buddhist religions. Mandalas are also present in the Jewish, Christian, and Pagan faiths, and many other religious orientations also. In the faiths of Buddhism and Hinduism, the mandalas represent the Universe. Through combinations of different shapes, colours, and formations, the mandala can mean a variety of things; in my context I’m using the ready-formed designs (of which I’ve digitally manipulated) of branded bottle caps, as the basis for my design process. These bottle caps are the things that speak for the mandala with the context I’ve given them. The mandala use and the bottle caps present a conflict, an oxymoron, a total contrast; this is exactly what I want to gain in my design process. The mandala is a sacred and holy design presenting purity, wholeness, friends, family and community. Corporations, on the surface, in some way or form may represent these qualities, but the reality of it is they are the complete contrary to these. They drive people apart by causing general (and social class) competition between people over material goods, where vanity takes rule. They destroy and exploit human lives out of the corporations’ country of origin, taking advantage of people who aren’t their ‘own’ in the third and second world . They void many of these workers of their basic human rights, exploiting them, leaving them to work in incredibly unsafe and poor working environments, making them far exceed the standard working hour regulations, as well as there being an exponential amount of child labor; all of this often leading to death. They demolish flourishing rainforests and variety more of natural habitats, the lungs of our planet (!), simply to make way for their factories, further ruining it by polluting it with harmful intoxicants and waste. On top of all this, many TNCs will deplete local villages of their natural local resources, often being groundwater. All this damage to the world and fellow human kin caused merely to maximise their profit margins. Where there’s profit, there’s deficit.

The majority of corporations mean no good, all they mean is business, and they only care for creating their own wealth, and at others expense.


What I hope to accomplish with my designs is to inform people of the darker side of consumerism and capitalism through a visual medium, using imagery of a religious background. The use of the religious mandala presents my views in a somewhat contradictive manner, presenting something usually used to depict good things, as a bad thing, formed from the evil of corporations, in this case: branded bottle caps. The poster represents a strong interpretation of my personal views through a visual manner that’s of interest to myself, and appropriated in an oxymoronic context.


My aim is to inform people through my deigns, that consumerism and capitalism is a horrible thing for a variety of reasons, touching on how they separate people from community, and damage and exploit human beings and the environment.


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