Sometimes there is a natural lull in one’s art work. Caught between a mixture of wanting to try new things completely, to wanting to use my tried and tested methods to communicate current concerns. Ideally I should both.
My present dilemma surrounds 8 very small canvases I am working upon. Actually, its early days – I am still at the stage of playing with images digitally with the view that they are likely to end up on these small canvas squares. These works follow on from my squashed drink can migrant and refugee series called ‘Jewels’. These recently were on display in a UAL one night pop-up exhibition called PArt of Us which focused on the potential of creative ventures engaging with social issues (with special emphasis on the Calais Jungle.)
My new works in progress are focusing on the materials and patterns that the refugees wear, trying to emphasise the preciousness and uniqueness of each and every person by drawing out the vibrancy and detail of their clothing and material items around them, even though it seems the people themselves get lost in the pure volume and numbers we see in the media every day.
Using photos from newspapers as a starting point, I used photo-shop to hide the features of individual people and then digitally drew on the images to illustrate items of material. I found it to be an uncomfortable working practice eliminating the faces of people but that was kind of the point. I am hoping that the deliberate obscuring may in fact emphasise the opposite.
Anyway, my dilemma is to do with the fact I keep changing my mind in how I think I should approach these works from both a composition and technical point of view. I feel uneasy and unworthy of trying to communicate the magnitude and complexity of this political and emotive issue. These are very little pieces and it is with a very little voice I try to communicate. It mirrors the huge sense of powerlessness I believe many of us feel surrounding this.