Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Every story has 2 sides

Every story has 2 sides

1100 x 900 mm
I tend to enjoy working in series, and often have several different threads running simultaneously. Thus, if you go into my studio at any time, it is quite possible to see 5 or 6 works in various stages of completion, and so different you wonder if the studio is inhabited by a group of artists! Large colourful abstracts vie for space with small city-scapes and historic buildings, landscapes are peacful and serene, or populated with desperate people, trees spring up all over the place and every now and then a quirky one appears that has no category at all, like the pink pig I did recently, called "did you say Bacon?"

One series I am very into now is the one that started out as "Africa weeps for her children." It has grown to examine issues relating to the plight of women and children in so many parts of africa, the so called "lost generation", the spectre of joblessness, and the big divide between 1st world/3rd worldrich/poor in the continent. A recurring theme is the plight of refugees, and those whose next meal depends on someone dropping it out of the sky.

Running parallel with this, and about to overlap, (ideas are running in my mind) is the anti war theme. It all started a couple of years back when I did a black and white painting, with one red poppy, called "lest we forget." It evolved with variations of the theme, until a series with block patterns emerged, symbolising both chess (a war game) and the checkered flag, symbolising winner takes all. Obviously the poppies were a reminder of the cost in human life.

The latest variant to emerge from this is a softer one, perhaps not so much war per se, but any conflict or dispute, and it reminds us that there is never only one side to any story, it may look cut and dried as the parties square off across a boundary, but there is seldom one side that is all totally good, and the other all totally bad.

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