Scab details, acrylic paint, water based paint, spray paint, foils and varnish on canvas, 25 x 25cm, 2013
In ‘Scabs’ I layered up thick paint, big dollops on dollops then sealed the surfaces with guilding foils, spray paints and varnishes. The paints set whilst I worked on other pieces - Habibi, Snow and Aura (in that order), in spring 2013. I’d check on the smaller pieces from time to time, like a child checking whether a scab is OK to pick off yet. It was only when they were ready to have the surfaces removed and worked into that I noticed their scab-likeness. As well as thinking of them as a metaphor of how people heal emotionally and physically I thought of picket lines.
The paintings are titled:
‘scab scab scab’
‘scab scab scab scab’
‘scab scab scab scab scab’
‘scab scab scab scab scab scab’
‘scab scab scab scab scab scab scab’
Those that break the picket lines, why do they do it? What are they protecting, or afraid of? I’d not long been to see Billy Elliot the musical, in which there was a scene of people maintaining their protest screaming “Scab!” at those going to work during the coal minors strike in the mid-eighties in North East England. Well, you would hope they had good reasons. I was also thinking of the wider world, of human greed and corruption being like a disease, and of land and body as similar - if you zoom out from a landscape and close to a skin or further into a body, areas can often look alike. In Scabs the black, gold and pink are for oily; with Aura I'm using the colours more as a reference to light.
Foils are used in Scabs, which set quite hard.
Scabs, acrylic paint, water based paint, spray paint, foils and varnish on canvas 25 x 25cm, 2013
Scab detail. The scabs were all made in Bermondsey in London in 2013 (V22 studios)