This series of works was created during the first year of my MA. Building on the work I had done in for the Lost Generation project which focussed on the First World War Centenary.
The Third of January 2015
The inspiration for this piece was the atrocities conducted by ISIS, and specifically the execution by “fire” of a Jordanian pilot on 3rd January 2015. The reference to Goya’s The Third of May 1808 in the title and within the painting speaks to the “endless” nature of conflict. The IPAD showing a YouTube clip of the execution is a reflection on the voyeuristic way in which conflict is increasingly becoming “entertainment”.
This painting addresses the issue of domestic violence, this crosses all wealth barriers, so I decided that the idea of an “Ideal kitchen” would provide the strongest contrast with the subtle gym/boxing/abuse references.
This piece was triggered by seeing an advert of a Kids Toy set based on Game of Thrones characters. A series containing sex and violence and most definitely NOT suitable for children. There is increasing agreement that children’s exposure to violent games and film/TV at increasingly young ages can lead to the normalisation of violence, and desensitization to real world acts.
The sub-text to the piece was the juxtaposition of apparently innocent kid’s drawings, which are however based on images from horror and violent films or games.
This piece juxtaposed three themes:
Man’s continued fascination with war toys. Here I drew upon a recent exhibition at the Herbert, entitled “War Games” which examines the role of war in childhood play and strategic games from the 1800s to the present day. I was chilled by one line from the exhibition brochure “the exhibition is a delight for both adventurous little ones and the child in us all” …
The passing of time, conveyed by the evolution of the toys, but more so by the newspaper headlines from different decades of peace and war declaration.
The sense of being trapped in a never ending spiral. Here I drew upon Escher’s impossible cabinet to create a subtle a tromp l’oeil with the shelves of the toy display cabinet forming an impossible shape.