Fading, 2014, Oil on canvas, 70 x 60 cm
Selfie, 2014, Oil on canvas, 70 x 90 cm
These paintings draw inspiration from the methodology of They Prepare to Play (a show, which was part of the MFA course in which we set ideas from Hamlet in the present). Outside my practice I am interested in the ancient world - Greek mythology in particular. I find researching paintings and ideas from the past both fascinating and rewarding.
These paintings set the story of Narcissus in the present. Fading is about the contemporary Narcissus fixated with his phone while his hand is marble white referencing his eventual transformation in the original story. The colours on his clothes are gradually fading and he is fading away into his surroundings as a consequence of his self absorption and vanity. This is how the world sees him. On the other hand Selfie is about how the figure sees the world. Although this focuses on the same story as in Fading this time the contemporary Narcissus is placed in a setting surrounded by a crowd.
This gave me the opportunity to revisit abstraction while trying to create another perspective. This setting was inspired by the town centre near the Bentalls Centre; where there are some shops selling 'Objects of Desire' and phones. Interestingly the paved area with fish provided inspiration for the pool (where Narcissus falls in love with his reflection).
Time and time again I have seen some people post selfies on social networks including Facebook and Instagram - which has influenced these paintings. Here the figure is depicted as realistic whereas the crowd have been distorted into abstract gestural lines, blurs and nothingness. They do not matter to the figure; the only things, which are real to him are himself and his object of desire...
These paintings deal with greed and how it can sometimes take us over, distract us and take our attentions away from real people. We do now as in the past give into temptation - sometimes without any concern for the effect this would have on other people. Additionally the paintings explore how materialism is an endless desire. It made me ask, 'How long does the pleasure that a material object gives a person last for?' These paintings drew inspiration from St Paul was a tent maker by weaving past and present together while reflecting upon some issues in contemporary society.