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Large Works

A series of large canvases created in my studio at Play Village, Jesolo between 2000-2004, which attempt to examine the effects of global political issues on personal family life, and in in particular, our two young children. It was the time of the 9/11 attacks on the twin towers, the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan by US and UK forces and a major earthquake in Turkey. It felt like an uncertain time to start a family. I see the double canvases as our children in many ways; they began as one image with a unifying imprint, then were divided and the details worked separately…mirroring the nature vs nurture argument. The oldest had begun to ask “So, what is war, exactly, daddy”? The resulting canvas implies the blood and body stains of a suicide bomber, worked over a collage of children’s educational aids from a library in Amsterdam. We still had an analogue TV and “We’re Breaking Up” imagines the day the television is switched on, but there is no cohesive signal, just the lines of static. “Dogs!” is very literal; it references the CIA’s interference, particularly in the training of commanders who might one day act against you when politics shift. “Fragment” reflects on the earthquake in Bingol and the fact that, in addition to the lives that are lost, history, culture and traditional architecture are all buried under the rubble; some things will reinstate themselves partially, some never. As subject matter, it is serious and weighty, yet the colours and surfaces resist the somewhat stereotyped tendency to always portray difficult conundrums as dark and depressing.