Acrylic, Marker pen and pastel on Jute, 65cm x 65cm. 2018
The original concept of the 'Landlords' game was to demonstrate how rents enrich property owners and impoverish tenants with the view that when children played the game, it would provoke their senses of injustice and they would take this feeling into adulthood. (Note : Thanks to the feminist Lizzie Magie who invented the game).
However, this original concept was stolen, co-opted and skewed into the game of capitalist celebration : 'Monopoly'.
As a play therapist, I see first-hand how games are a common feature of the therapeutic process allowing us to experiment, experience and learn about ourselves. I find games to be a fascinating metaphor for the dance of life and in many ways the Landlords game is no different.
Here, a game specifically designed to critique the social inequalities of the day has now been abducted as a symbol for greed, strategic prowess and so called ‘abundance’.
Symbols matter and as our planet hurtles into social inequality and climate catastrophe, in huge parts due to real-life monopoly players, this painting came from a place of tracing origins and remembering the original essence of what has now become so tainted.