This is my piece for the 2018 Manchester School of Art degree show.
I have always been inspired by the work of Hieronymus Bosch and his depictions of hell. Within my own practice, I have been interested in taking these historical depictions of hell and drawing parallels with todays society, looking at how 500 year old pieces of work can be relevant today. I am interested in taking the work of Bosch and recreating it in my own style, and using contemporary political and cultural content.
Many of the works by Bosch were a commentary on late medieval morality. Using a similar language, I am interested in how this might look today.
This project started with me scouring the newspapers, exploring major political and social events, gaging people’s reaction to them, and then taking images and text from these sources in order to inject these issues into my work. I have used this form of political montage to create a background that I have then overpainted to give a grainy, antiquated appearance, similar to the one used by Bosch for his own depictions of hell.
I then take time looking at the paintings of hell by Bosch, copying many of his scenes in my own style, to connect his work to current affairs.
It is important to me to show how disillusioned the vast majority of people I meet are with the current state of world affairs, and to draw parallels with historical art to express this and show that for myself and many other people, we are living in a time of great uncertainty, a kind of political and cultural hell.
A Street in Stockport
This is a piece inspired by the work of LS Lowry. Having been born in Stockport and growing up in Manchester, I have always been interested in Lowry’s work, I love his focus on people and everyday life. I thought that his work was so strong and distinctive, and felt like it would be interesting to see what that would look like in this day.
I started by visiting Crowther Street in Stockport, taking photos and making note of the changes I could notice from when Lowry was there. I then began looking through newspapers, gathering headlines and images that I felt could accurately portray what is going on in the UK at the moment, I used the newspaper cuttings to make a grey sky, like the skies in Lowry paintings, I then began painting the background, and when that was finished, I drew the people on a sheet of perspex and lay this over the background, using this layering to give a current social comment.
To me it was very interesting how Lowry painted these industrial areas, and many of which do not exist in the same way they did back then. I was interested to show how these places may look today, thinking about how even though society has changed since then, in some ways for the worse and some for the better, people still need to get on with their lives, despite the problems going on in the world.
We live in such an uncertain time, and opinions in our country vary largely. I wanted to highlight that even as people it is easy to feel powerless in a world where social issues often feel as though they are constantly hanging above us, and that even though this can be the case, in day to day life we all just seem to get on with our lives in the best ways we can.
A Street in Stockport
This is a piece inspired by the work of LS Lowry. I have always been interested in Lowry’s work, I love his focus on people and everyday life. I thought that his work was so strong and distinctive, and felt like it would be interesting to see what that could look like in this day.
I started by looking through newspapers, gathering headlines and images that I felt could accurately portray what is going on in the UK at the moment, then began looking through all of Lowry’s work, for inspiration for my own street scene.
I used the newspaper cuttings to make a grey sky, like the skies in Lowry paintings, I then began painting the background, and when that was finished, I drew the people on a sheet of glass and lay this over the background.
To me it was very interesting how Lowry painted these industrial areas, and many of which do not exist in the same way they did back then. I was interested to show how these places may look today, thinking about the society we now live in.
This is a piece that is full of characters. I really enjoy creating characters and showcasing diversity and individualism within my work.
The Last Supper in Hell
This was the piece that began my artistic journey with hell.
I wanted to find a way of showing how disillusioned most people I spoke to were with the current state of world affairs. I felt as though we were living in great times of uncertainty, and this in itself was a type of hell, so it seemed obvious to me to draw that parallel.
I felt as though most people I spoke to felt completely powerless, and The Last Supper in Hell was a way of me depicting that.
This piece is an example of my love of creating characters and showing the diversity and individualism within our society.
These images are from a series of experiments in which I was recreating scenes from Hieronymus Bosch paintings in my own style on acetate and laying them on top of painted newspaper clippings.
My intention was to draw inspiration from Bosch and demonstrate that his idea of questioning the morality of his time within his work is still relevant today.
This is my piece for the YMCA Right Here’s exhibition in Brighton. It was an exhibition put on by the YMCA charity in Brighton that aimed to challenge views and perceptions of masculinity within our society.
The exhibition started at Whitehawk FC, with the people there for the football match being able to view the work before and after the match, and during half time. It then went on to be displayed at Brighton Metropolitan College. Here it was on display for students of the college, and pupils from local schools, as well as a public exhibition.
If someone was to ask me what I thought masculinity was, I would have no clear answer. To me, masculinity can mean all sorts of things. It is completely down to the individual, this is what I aimed to portray in this work.
I also designed the flyers for this event.
This piece was a bit of fun for me. I enjoy horror and this was an opportunity for me to combine my love of this and making art.