We spent so many centuries toiling in the
factories of our selfhood that we forgot
what we slowly came to know again…
That we are creatures.
That we are nature.

A poem, a premonition, or the introduction of a human condition essay. This is the ambiguous but also with a direct meaning and difficult to misunderstand text, which guides the reading of We are creatures (2022), artwork created by the artist Armando D. Cosmos.
The work is technically a small tapestry, composed by woven cotton threads and enclosed by two steel bands, which allow for presentation on the wall.
Cosmos, who lives and works in Manchester, develops his research and practice in the creation of installations, in the form of different sizes tapestries. Themes chosen for each tapestry explore hypothetical apocalyptic futures, consequences of human actions, such as the controversial and debated nuclear power issue. Sometimes, furthermore, they look like project drawings, sketches of an innovative anthropological work under construction. Each tapestry is characterized by recognizable iconographic references, becoming the exemplary representation of how art is influenced by current events and vice versa.

The scenario outlined by We are creatures is the decline of the human species, caused by too much attention dedicated to the industrial sector and to productivity itself, which has distracted human beings from what is true reality, that is their essential and unconditioned belonging to the natural system as creature. The weaved threads that make up the work have predominantly warm colors – red and yellow. The scene foreground is occupied by a black cactus on which two red flowers sprout, a dried tree is visible in the background. The setting is clearly that of a deserted and arid land. A dazzling light illuminates the top of the tapestry, is it the sun or the dreaded explosion of a nuclear bomb?

The We are creatures project aim is that of channeling the growing anxiety towards a catastrophic future that is not so far away and that perhaps, or probably, we will face.
The need to represent these hypothetical apocalyptic scenarios is increasingly urgent for some artists, and consequently more and more frequent in the contemporary art field which, as a pure and direct expression of what is most deeply hidden inside the human soul, becomes the chosen way to express worries and thoughts. Thanks to the instantaneous impact of visual arts, it is immediately possible to reach the viewer and create food for thought, which can be real future predictions or representing nefarious and terrifying fantasies.


Armando D. Cosmos
We Are Creatures, 2022
Jacquard woven cotton, steel, 66 x 51cm.
© Image by Charlotte Markus. Courtesy the artist and Phillida Reid, London.