Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Combatting Propaganda....

My artwork usually starts with a thought or idea about something I really feel strongly about, and want to make a comment on.

When I first started to come up with the concept for my new piece 'The Future is Unwritten', I was thinking about advertising and consumer culture.  How in contemporary society we are constantly being sent subliminal messages about what to buy, and how to live our lives.  Advertising is propaganda!

I wanted to create an artwork which offered an alternative to the messages we are so accustomed to receiving everyday.  I wanted to create slogans and messages which ask us to be individual and not just follow advertising instruction, which ask us to be creative in the way we live our lives.  

This piece was a message to myself aswell!  As much as anything the slogans I've used are to remind me to follow my heart and instinct.

'The Future is Unwritten' was showcased at the 11:11 exhibition at East Gallery, 214 Brick Lane.  It opened last Thursday 16th and is open until June 23rd - so you still have a chance to go and see the work and the work of all the other 21 artists in the show.

The opening for the 11:11 exhibition was brilliant, really busy.  Curated by Infinity Bunce, Russell Chater and Richard Stone the show was really well put together with some interesting pieces from the 22 artists involved.  Thankyou very much to the curators for inviting me to take part!

Other artists include:  Rich Simmons, David Bray, Infinity Bunce, John Cake & Darren Neave, Russell Chater, Lorraine Clarke, John Doe, Chris Koning, Josie McKoy, Ben Oakley, Adrian Pritchard, Rugman, Schoony, SNUB23, Christopher Steadman, Richard Stone, The Krah, Lex Thomas, Mimei Thompson, Twinkle Troughton.

Twinkle exhibited her piece 'Prayers over the white cliffs of Dover'.  You can read more about her piece on her blog here

I have been working on 'The Future is Unwritten' for over a year, so it was brilliant to finally see it all together.  I think it will be a piece of work that evolves and changes as I add more slogans to it.  I left the exhibition wondering whether it really does 'Combat Propaganda'....I wonder how people actually perceived the piece?  In the end I decided that whatever the outcome, I'm glad that I am putting artworks into the world that do attempt to do so!


Saturday, 4 June 2011

New piece for the 11:11 Exhibition

I’ve been working away in the studio trying to get my piece finished for the 11:11 show on the 16th June at East Gallery on Brick Lane.  Less than two weeks to go and quite abit left to do!

11:11 is an exhibition curated by Infinity Bunce, Russell Chater and Richard Stone.  It will feature the work of 11 fine artists and 11 urban artists, you can visit the website  here  for further info.  If you would like to come along to the private view, it is 6-9pm on the 16th June at  East Gallery, 214 Brick Lane.

For the first time ever, I will be exhibiting my new piece: ‘The Future is Unwritten’.  The piece is a wall based assemblage made up of statements and slogans painted onto a collection of found wooden panels.  

I like the idea of using found wood to promote recycling, the panels I’ve used had been left in the streets of London as rubbish, painting onto them and turning them into pieces of art gives them new meaning and value.

The idea for ‘The Future is Unwritten’ was inspired by looking around at a world full of advertising.   We are constantly being told what to wear, what to eat, what to wash with, what car to drive, how to live our lives, we are surrounded by propaganda.  I wanted ‘The Future is Unwritten’ to offer an alternative, it is a call to action and asks us to be creative in our lives rather than following the instructions issued by advertising.

I’ve always been inspired by the ideas and slogans of the Situationist International, an activist/political group originating from Paris in the late 1960s, this piece takes a direct influence from their philosophy.

The collection a month or so ago, there are now 14 panels

I LOVE TYPOGRAPHY!!!  and a while ago I decided to bring it in to my work much more.  My choice of fonts in this piece is inspired by Victorian leaflets, broadsides and circus posters.  Much of my current practice looks at previous generations and the style of typography used in this piece ties in with that theme.

Half way through painting this piece I started thinking ARGHHHH this is really prescriptive, and all abit too nice….  I didn’t want to create something that seemed like I was telling everyone what to do, so I began to incorporate quotes from other people, song lyrics, and my own thoughts and reflection on the piece.  The quotes and lyrics have been carefully selected, the words of activists such as Joan Baez, Joe Strummer, and John Lennon have been used so far.  ‘Boredom is Counter-revolutionary’ is a famous quote of Guy Debord’s, the founder of the Situationist International.  ‘The Future is Unwritten’ is the title of the Julian Temple documentary about Joe Strummer, and also one of his lyrics, I thought it was the perfect slogan to borrow for the title of my piece.

So please come along to the show if you can!  I'm really excited about exhibiting the new piece and would love some feedback!  I'll be posting some pics from the show and of the completed assemblage as soon as its all up on the wall.