Affluent Society Above the Roil – SAM Bigelow

Watercolor and pen, 22″ x 15″

Not for Sale


Artist Statement

I seek distraction from the familiar and mundane little bubble I exist in. I find myself captivated by the potential, mystery, and danger of fictional worlds. In my work, I create an imagined world in which human civilization is beset by the Roil; a vast depth of inhospitable gases and cloud layers that envelops most of this fictional world. Humankind takes refuge from this gaseous expanse high up on their plateau continents, the only areas of land the Roil does not reach. I draw inspiration for this imagined world from the natural: the ocean and its creatures, the atmosphere and weather, and the technologies developed throughout history to access these environments. The retro aesthetics and technologies featured in my fictional world reference a time when humanity was more vulnerable to and in awe of the natural world.
In this world, human civilization is surrounded on all sides by the unknown. Out of reach of the foggy surface of the unfathomably deep Roil, humankind sits safe and secure upon their plateau continents. To avoid the storied horrors of its dark and gaseous depths, fleets of airships are employed to traverse over the top of the Roil. In this way, the multiple nations inhabiting the plateau continents can access each other without risking the appetite of the denizens that dwell below. Though little is known about the Roil to humankind, enough brave and curious souls have been lost to its ruthless depths for some of its dangers to be known. Pitch-black darkness, poisonous gases, sudden tempests, and myriad hungry lifeforms compose the Roil and its dangers. But there is one imminent danger the people of the plateau continents have never faced before; the Roil is rising. Slowly and surely, the unknown is coming for them.


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