This work began as an enquiry into the medieval history of Europe and the Treaty of Westphalia that followed the 30 Years War. I was interested in the innovation that signalled the beginnings of contemporary nationhood. From this starting point the project eventually developed into a broader investigation into the human instinct to establish sovereignty, boundary and dominion over land, sea and sky—the roots of what was to become our modern system of national identities. How did these ideas come about? What preceded them? How were they conceptualised and why were they aspired to?
This work frames dominion over nature as a triumph of order over chaos. The human drive to organise, boundary, defend, compete and coexist. How the mental maps of the ancient landscape eventually became cartographers' lines as over time all that is, was classified and encapsulated.
I wanted to look at the aspiration toward dominion, long before any such thing was realised. To represent a sense of the earliest emergence of these ideas, long ago.