Patrick Goddards haunting vision of urban decay climate change and
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Patrick Goddard’s haunting vision of urban decay, climate change and gentrification

Goddard has made other kinds of books before, including graphic novels and flash fiction. His satirical art and writing focuses on urban change, gentrification and ecology, often featuring animals, strange situations and a sense of chaos. 

Die Biester explores similar themes. In sequencing images of people, plants and animals, Goddard blurs the distinctions between nature and the built environment. On one spread, a silhouette of an animal’s cage leads into the scaffolding of a construction site. In another, the thick gnarly trunk of a tree matches the rhythmic swirling smack of jellyfish. Across from an image of a man wearing a werewolf mask, snarling dogs leap with eerie white eyes.

Art about the Anthropocene often features dramatic landscapes and high-tech machines in juxtaposition, yet Goddard, whose PhD explored the gentrification of East London, pays attention to the structures which shape everyday life. Black humour abounds in his portrayal of pets and litter, and in their juxtaposition, he weaves a story around profit, prey and power. The result is a startling, curious and sensitive portrait of the wild around us and within, one which unsettles the idea that nature could ever be controlled.

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