Nicholas Baxter

Take Refuge: Fallout Shelter Designs

Here are some graphics I designed for a tattoo-related project last year, with accompanying text (see the final product here).

I made the following images around the same time as these, using the same original photographs (shot with a Canon EOS Rebel before I even owned a digital camera…I feel old) and Photoshop CS4.

 

razorheartNB-lowres

razorwirefalloutNB-lowres

The concept of the fallout shelter gained popularity in the 1960s, in response to the threat of nuclear annihilation posed by the Cold War.  These protected spaces offered survivors of a nuclear blast a life-saving refuge from the deadly radioactive energy and debris, which would rain down in the aftermath of a detonation.

As part of the nationwide fallout shelter program, the U.S. government unveiled a symbol depicting three inverted triangles within a circle, which would become prominent throughout the urban landscape for several decades. But in the 1980s, the threat of worldwide nuclear war was averted with the fall of communism. This new era completed the rise of powerful corporations, as Big Business brought their own version of peace and prosperity to the world. As a result, the fallout shelter and its symbol have largely faded from public consciousness.

Yet unbeknownst to many, a certain Cold War still rages on—not externally, but internally—as an all-out assault on our minds and spirits by the cultural influence of the aforementioned capitalist elites. Their fantasy of escape through mindless consumption is served to resigned, debt-ridden and overstimulated masses, who despite living in material abundance, often report increasing levels of angst, anxiety, depression, and a lack of fulfilment. It’s in this 21st century war zone that the fallout shelter concept can re-emerge with a new significance.

So I say to those in search of a meaningful and passionate life, the rebels and social misfits, the misunderstood and the cast aside, the spiritual seekers and restless explorers, creatives, visionaries and dreamers, and of course, all the artists striving to bring forth authentic and original works expressing beautiful truths:

Take refuge in yourselves. 

Build shelter in your minds and hearts. Cultivate in that place an inspiration that may overcome the corporate enforcers of the dull and dreary, the false idols of passivity and obedience. Strengthen your will for the cultural battle of our era, this New Cold War.