Desire To Communicate Series

Posted by Steve Lowes on

I was intrigued by using the idea of "old communication" methods to subvert the immediately visually obvious with playful oxymorons and even the odd joke. In the same way the original cockneys used rhyming slang to communicate with each other in front of their paymasters as a secret language.

Given I practise on board a boat, Four Rivers, the answer was right in front of me. An old set of nautical signal flags. When Four Rivers was launched in 1947, she had no VHF radio, no morse code equipment, obviously no GPRS and no satellite navigation. Just a bunch of flags.

Something that struck me about old communication languages was their efficiency. The "progress" of technology has lead to an incredible volume of communication, yet it strikes me that less, and more efficient, truly is more. The Everything Now Generation has more of everything they want yet less of what they need. Communication is buried in noise.

So behind a cheerful, colourful greeting, lies the ugly truth...

But it's not all ugly...

You can use the following chart to decode the hidden sub texts and messages in the Desire To Communicate series of paintings.

Nautical Signal Flag Instructions

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