make mine a molotov
Elsecar Heritage Centre
10 january - 14 february
Thursday - Sunday 12-4pm
private view: friday 16th january 7 - 9pm
"I do not assume there is a self to begin with. Self is not presupposed as a stuff out of which the world arises. Rather the self arises in the world"
George Herbert Mead
There is a fundamental futility about the projects I set myself in my art works; a history and destiny of disappointment. This is born of a deep rooted desire to heal society of its disparity, to understand it, and to fix what I perceive as broken. Through my observational experiments I attempt the seemingly pointless task of rationalizing everything, confronting the realisation that the complexity of social and subjective experience is as diverse as it is impossible to comprehend.
This idea is qualified in a belief that events, both individual and global, are repeated throughout time, that lessons are never learned. That time and time again, throughout history, the immutable power of those who govern our world treads hard and firmly on the aspirations and dreams of those people beneath them.
Equally, the ideological battle cry of the revolutionary can be as damaging and self fulfilling as the powers they attack. Ultimately, truth is a double edged sword of law and antilaw that cuts swathes through the innocent, with scant regard for life other than that sacrificed in its name. The exalted martyrs of the past are but few amongst the countless, nameless victims who suffered in the cause of another’s climb, or claim, to fame or power.
This concept has manifested itself in many guises in my practice to date. My earlier oil paintings used found media imagery that was copied, repeated and recontextualised. Socio-political imagery is juxtaposed with that of the every day. A brief look back over human history is the bleakest of tasks, but provides a rich font of subject matter.
More recently, my practice has shifted focus from painting into a rhizomatic form of installation, in a series titled Modular Panels. Iconoclastic and political imagery is still present, but has become an extensive library of transfers on canvas panels that can brought together in any context, at any scale, and for any occasion. The work has become boundless; its possibilities have become infinite through its ever changing configurations. In this way the work becomes closer to everyday life.
To me Art has the power to ask questions of itself and of its audience. It has the power to manipulate our emotions: to make one happy, to make one sad, to make one see. Art can transform any space into a vision of utopia or a prophecy of dystopia. It is a weapon that draws no blood, that starves no people. It is questionable without recourse, damnable without vengence. It is the voice of the individual against the establishment, the unjust, and the rhetorical.
It is like throwing water bombs at a tank in the hope that rust will render it useless.