In developing a concept of Life Underground I started to think about all the living things that inhabit all the spaces under the surface. All kind of creatures populate these spaces, insects, worms, rodents and other small animals. In our imaginations we can contemplate monsters, and other magical beasts. But what about Humans?
I started thinking about people being underground. We all are long used to the concept of people working underground. Working underground is acceptable although recognizably tough in occupations such as mining, construction, archeology, subway workers; people who for eight hours or more do not see sunlight.
What’s tougher to imagine is LIVING UNDERGROUND. I was disturbed to learn that in Beijing, with not enough homes to go around, some people have no choice but to inhabit old air-raid shelters, basements and tunnels. The condition of their life is sub-human. But this lifestyle is closer to home than I thought. It can be found in affluent North American society.
The Life Underground of the dozens of homeless people inhabiting New York subway system became the subject of my Sketchbook Project. Life there was not scenic; many were driven there by tremendous tragedies and misfortunes, some by heavy drug use.
Although for the most part ‘out of sight, out of mind”, I hope to bring a spotlight to those less fortunate, who must call underground the only home they have.
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