From a young age, I have had a strong sense that things aren’t right.
As Capitalism is failing, our agency is reducing with it – how do we take back our agency? My philosophical practice attempts to do just that. My enquiry is my resistance, challenging what I know about the world, asking others to do so also, so that we can build a new and more equitable world picture.
Developing out of my over-arching project exploring how Capitalism got into our head and how we get it out, ongoing works try to understand and illuminate discriminatory social practices. Works about gender, class and race, concentrate on economic drivers of injustice. Giving form to my critique, research, political and cultural theory is distilled in entertaining ways for public audiences.
Capitalism is a skilled storyteller, so my focus on storytelling kicks back against systems that whitewash politics and erase histories for blue-chip markets. Referencing the past whilst looking to the future, I start with the desire to retrieve history painting’s sublated good. I am interested in this outmoded and problematic genre’s accessibility, its ability to communicate with diverse audiences and the public it created. It has made me think about new ways of telling and imaging history, but for a multimedia era.
Like Capitalism, the art world absorbs, mutates, takes on new forms; in the same way, my work responds to uncertainty, considering alternative ways of showing, surviving and organising. Resisting Capitalism’s speed and production of objects, my thinking places less emphasis on the final product and the gallery setting, and I am keen to share ideas ethically. This is both in real life and across digital platforms for the networked community, good and bad, I believe, is capable of working collaboratively to make positive change.
My stories about conflict and control blend fact and fiction, and mix personal biography with overlooked events from history. The ideas have travelled a long way, the leaky themes and costumes cross projects.
I approach my work as a painter that chooses not to paint. Finding painting no longer historically possible. However, like the history painter of the past, my research goes through a lengthy process: in my case, writing, collaging, drawing and storyboarding, and collaboration across disciplines. Traditional processes are mixed with interactive and broadcast technologies and crafted with precision and slow labour. It’s a process of construction.
The works are unapologetically wonky. Tender, funny, political, soulful, conflicting, sad; with a largely black and white aesthetic. From room-sized graphic novels that people can walk around, the characters drawn in pencil and ink on paper, gesso on board, and painted in oil on laser-cut powder-coated steel, activated by Arduino circuits and proximity sensors; to 3D characters and environments, to hand-drawn animation and digital film, and handmade costumes and props for performance to screen and in real life.