My work explores ‘life’ in the broadest sense. All my pieces are connected in the theme of ‘Little Boy Hiding in the Big, Bad World’. Through the pieces I hope to provoke thought about purpose in life, the growing up process whilst also drawing attention to issues such as poverty, hunger, and war amongst others, sparking conversations about values such as individualism and notions of ‘success’ in an increasingly material world. Audiences are invited to reflect on the kind of world we have come to live in.
My practice has a playful element and at times even a sense of humour, that is deliberately intended as entertainment whilst raising serious issues. References familiar from childhood that resonate with audiences, are manipulated to highlight the contradictions between the principles we teach children and life in the real world. Lyrics from songs also frequently appear within my work either in the drawings or as titles where the words are often taken out of the love song context or manipulated to shed light on the problems in the world.
I work in a variety of media including using furniture and walls as canvases for drawings which are like life, ongoing – spilling over onto the frames and walls or anything else in the way, leaving a void when removed. I have a distinctive style of drawing that is simple and childlike where a little boy appears inside speech bubbles emerging from tall buildings in an ever-growing cityscape, asking questions and raising issues about life in the modern world.
In my body of work, I also use large scale furniture where adults feel childlike when engaging with the work to draw them to the content in a playful manner. I have also created a film/sound piece that tells a story of a boy from a poor family where the script is made up entirely of lyrics from songs.
My pieces inform one another, with aspects reappearing in other works, like pieces in a puzzle. Originally intended for an installation inside a waiting area or transitional space, the work is intended to engages audiences to help pass time, much like this life.
‘Look Around Your World Pretty Baby, Is It Everything You Hoped It’d Be?’ (2019 – remake of original from 2001) contains several drawings covering a wide range of issues that reappear in other works. Furniture and panels are covered with an ongoing drawing representing ongoing life. Various items of stationery on the desk have also been drawn over leaving a white void when removed from their place. These items act as pieces of a puzzle when moved around, enabling audiences to interact with the work to draw them to its content. This piece can be displayed connected with the desk and chair sitting in the corner of the two panels, or they can be separated as three parts – two separate panels that can be mounted on walls and a stand-alone desk and chair.
‘Untitled’ (2019) is large oversized chair where adults feel childlike when sitting on it. It includes a small drawing of a little boy writing ‘I. Was Here’, and is inspired by the lyrics ‘One Day You’ll Leave This World Behind, So Live A Life You Will Remember’.
Somewhere Over The Rainbow (2018), explores existential questions about life and ‘success’, and is the first piece where the I used colour. Originally a piece about hope that includes a selection of drawings that questioned the work-life balance, this piece has new meaning since the Coronavirus pandemic in the UK where the rainbow has symbolised hope and support for key workers.
Over The Hills And Far Away (2019) draws attention to the contribution of arms sales by the permanent members of the UN and their role in fuelling conflicts whilst also shedding light on the situations of refugees as victims of war. The image of the little boy lying on the beach refers to Alan Kurdi and his tragic death while attempting to flee with his family. During the “European Refugee Crisis”, the image of young Alan went viral on social media, forcing mainstream press to report it and western governments to open their borders. The piece also includes five little ducks in the distance – a reference to another piece.
Five Little Ducks (2019) is an altered version of the popular children’s rhyme that forms a series of small paintings and provokes thought about war. Presented in standard 4” x 6” frames, they refer to photos that are often all that is left of victims of war. The little boy drawings appear on the frames waving helplessly in protest.
Ickle Eye View (2019 – originally written in 2000) is a sound piece/film with a script that is made up entirely of lyrics from different songs that have been put together to tell a story of a little boy.
I consider myself to be a returning and emerging artist. I graduated as an international student with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art in 2001 and developed much of my practice and style as a student. I then went on to train as a primary school teacher in the UK, hoping to make a positive difference. After living and working abroad for many years, I returned to the UK in 2017 as a mother of two, and in 2018 I decided to return to the art scene. My experiences in teaching, living in several different countries as well as parenting has greatly informed my practice. Although I began by remaking old work. It hasn’t take long for me to make new pieces and I have already had a couple of exhibitions, including a solo one. As my practice is motivated by world problems and inspired by popular culture, there is no shortage of ideas that fill my sketchbooks and have yet to be realised.