My paintings reflect my interests in power, manipulation and the role of the individual in inherited belief systems. It is important for me to examine the duality of truth and falsehood throughout my work, which I do by creating 'portraits' which may or may not be based on real documentation.
The series ‘Boys', in which dictators are depicted as children, looks at purity and corruption and, in particular, the notion of the 'Innocent Child'. The ‘Girls' collection looks at the continuing media-led sexualisation of childhood and raises questions about our collusion in the deification and commodification of female child stars, from Shirley Temple to Britney Spears. The process of self invention, innocence and culpability touches both series differently.
The works in ‘Absolute Democracy', ‘Let Them Eat Cake' and ‘Gods & Aliens' explore notions of authority and look at our acceptance of inherited power in different guises, from political dynasties and royalty to the Church. ‘Gods & Aliens' compares the respect afforded to religious groups for their beliefs in gods with the ridicule given to those who believe in aliens.
‘All the Presidents' Girls' depicts presidential mistresses from the eighteenth century to the 1990s, reminding us that while wars rage on around us, our leaders are busy enjoying and hiding their duplicitous affairs.
The series 'Swans' (drawn from the name of an American extreme makeover TV series), 'Vamps & Innocents' and the ‘WAMPAS Baby Stars' each look at different aspects of the American dream, the birth of celebrity and the role of women in those processes.I hope that my images will raise questions about how and why a person, or group of persons, behaves in a certain way. As Foucault explained, a person's identity is not preset - rather, it is determined by the interactions of a person with another and is, therefore, a shifting temporary construction. My work looks at ideas of personal responsibility within structures determined by time and place and the role of those who create those structures.
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