The jungle, a place where nature is at its most intense. A place which teems with life from minute insects that reside amongst the fallen foliage to huge predators that creep around the trees. The jungle is wild, raw, unkempt – somewhere not taken over by man. But for Jake Grewal, it already has been. Inspired by a trip to Borneo where he witnessed the juxtaposition of untouched tropical rainforest alongside cultivated land, he creates vivid paintings of natural landscapes with an artificial twist; an unnatural colour palette reflects the tensions between humans and their environment.
These paintings might depict distant lands from faraway planets where the sky is a vivid pink or purple and the leaves physically drip with colour. In To The Moon And Back a UFO-like form awaits for you to hop on board, perhaps to take you away into space, or to return back to Earth from this bizarre violet world. But the scenes could also belong to the past, showing prehistoric landscapes where trees weren’t overshadowed by skyscrapers and dinosaurs (most certainly with multicoloured scales if Grewal was to paint them) roamed the surface of the Earth.
Several of the paintings feature people exploring these landscapes, although they are dwarfed by their surroundings and Grewal’s loose style leaves their faces looking a little blank and lost. They are adventurers conquering the final frontier, for in reality very little of this jungle remains. These people look out of place, as if they don’t belong, yet humans have taken over nature across the world and here the intense colours of mankind infiltrate the greens of the rainforest, dominating the landscape to the extent where it is almost suffocating. Grewal’s images are visually beautiful, yet the idea behind them is not so pretty.
All images taken from Grewal’s website, where you can find more of his work.