The General and The Grunt

I updated these two for Congregation 2010

“The Minotaur of Greek mythology was the result of the union of Pasiphae and a bull. He dwelt inside the labyrinth and devoured anyone who entered. Here the minotaur is presented as an Army General – you can draw your own conclusions.

I have painted this diptych in a deliberately cartoonish style to underline the sense of displacement between our perceptions of war delivered via the media, and the horror of reality.”

“This painting was first produced for MASS in 2008, and shown alongside The General as a response to the senseless, illegal wars being fought in our name.

It’s two years later, we have a hung parliament, we’re still at war – so much for the democratic process.”

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Looking for the Light (2010)

acrylic on canvas 762mm x 1062mm

For some people the very act of contemplation results in even greater uncertainty. Perhaps some truths simply cannot be found by inward reflection alone.

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Future Self (2010)

acrylic on canvas 762mm x 1062mm

Each of us will die, that much is certain. However, our feelings about what happens next are the subject of much debate.

As an atheist, I have no problem accepting the cessation of my consciousness and subsequent decay of my body into it’s constituent elements.

Yet, there’s something primeval about our response of seeing a skeleton – a deep-seated fear of mortality, a calling from the limbic system.

How one choses to rationalise that response perhaps tells us a great deal about questions of faith.

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Pixellated Self (2010)

Finally getting around to uploading my paintings for Congregation 2010. Here’s the first of two self portraits.

acrylic on canvas 762mm x 1062mm

Part of my reasoning behind assuming the pseudonym ‘shardcore’ was provide a fresh identity, unfettered by past (mis)deeds. An identity solely concerned with artistic experimentation.

However, shardcore inhabits the same physical shell as my ‘other’ identity, and my face remains a visual conduit between the two realms.
This painting is an investigation into this conduit, recognisably me to those who know me, but opaque to those who don’t.

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Pride (2009)

In contemporary society, pride occupies a strange place betwixt vice and virtue. More often we talk of being ‘proud of who we are’ or ‘proud of our achievements’ in virtuous terms rather than admonishing others for their prideful behaviour.

Jade Goody came to prominence through her appearance on Big Brother, primarily through her profound ignorance. Yet she was clever enough to build a ‘career’ as a ‘celebrity’ and return to our screens in ‘Celebrity Big Brother in 2007. Her shocking racist bullying of her housemate Shilpa Shetty horrified the nation, and saw her rapidly fall from glory – a case where her pride was quite rightly perceived as a sin.

I found her subsequent return tabloid glory, by dint of her illness even more disillusioning than her original rise to fame.

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