Review from Mutant Space:
Jacob Watts surreal photo-illustrations from ‘Building A Universe’ stopped me dead. Not so much because of their technical quality, although his compositional ability is wonderfully cinematic, but primarily because of the subject matter. A huge idea, a grand thought, a philosophical puzzle that could take many lifetimes to deduce.
It says much about Watts that he took on such a large subject, a sci-fi narrative that is drawn from film and literature yet is rooted in the present,The characters in his pictures seem wary of disease, dressed in protective clothing, builders from the future looking to construct a perfect world for their fellow beings. Is that so? Is that what we see? Are they even human? Are they on a mission from earth? To construct a new living space for humanity after the environmental destruction of our own planet? Are they aliens, humanoids, on our own planet earth looking to colonise it? Who knows. Watts keeps the narrative open, lets our imagination run riot through his desolate landscapes, makes us wonder, think, delight in his scenarios.
Looking at his other work you get the sense that Watts is fundamentally interested in history, on where we’ve been and where we’re going, in the environment, society and the underlying politics and philosophy of our social constructions. Whats more I can’t help but feel that Watts would love to break out of a single frame and begin mining the depths of his imagination for a foundational story, a more complex myth that plays on the precarious nature of our existence.