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Conscience One

1978 - 60x 80 cm

The artist Gordon Kane read an article about a photo in a local news paper during 1994. A free lance photographer, whilst in Sudan encountered a starving, near to death, young girl being approached by a vulture.  For twenty minutes the photographer waited for the best suitable photograph of the  bird  and  the child  and in the best position for a photograph. After taking his photo he walked away without helping the child. The photograph was shown in many newspapers and later that photo won the Pulitzer Prize. When asked about the future of the child the photographer, Kevin Carter, replied that he did not know. On the same day Mr. Kane saw a photograph of an astronaut standing beside a flag he had put on the moon. Angered by the comparisons of mankind’s priorities, and this situation, the artist vented his anger by composing three paintings: Conscience One, Conscience Two, and Conscience Three, finally completing the trilogy in 2006.

The artist shows two historically worn pathways:

The pathway that splits to the left leads to an environment of bomb craters, desolate landscapes, and famine, where the vulture approaches a starving dying girl.

The vulture’s wings are spread showing the natural process of circling prior to obtaining it's prey.

The other pathway to the right, shows mankind has "walked past the little girl, and has a higher priority": achieving ambitions such as putting a flag on the moon. 
The ancient markings on the legs of the carrier of the flag illustrate that such behavior has been mankind’s historical character since the early days of human existence.

The carrier of the flag wears a timed fused explosive upon his back showing that time may soon expire should such choice of interests continue.

The flag carrier, proudly ,without empathy nor conscience and with a brazen stare, looks upon the viewer, and continues.

The flag bears the statement of the artist that such situation is the Achilles’ Heel of mankind’s way of life.

The artist chooses a yellow sky to show man has contentment in the realization that such a situation is acceptable.


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