1. Local Royalty - the Movie
I screen my films in Art or performance circles where the subject matter is not normally included. My love affair with celebrations, carnivals and festivals is an acknowledgment of the creativity of brilliant, ordinary, people and their desire to create from what they have available.
Personally, I am drawn to events that offer both plenty of kitsch and a certain melancholy so the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29th 2011 was quite literally my cup of tea!
2. Love Crush Commodification
This project melded four dominant themes of my artwork – mainstream celebrations that go into overdrive, glamorous women, kitsch, and my fascination with matriarchal families. The stimulus was the commodification of the Royal wedding with its fairytale factory of plastic regalia, masks, cupcakes, bunting and royal wedding sick bags.
It documents my family’s chav-camp tribute summed up by her Royalness, my grandmother, Gogs, in these words, “I am the queen, I’m gonna run with this …. Get me another drink!”
3. Provincial Princesses, Flamboyant Matriarchs
Within this project, I explore dynamic interaction between three generations in a family of flamboyant matriarchs. I investigates the ways in which our interpersonal relationships are built from a combination of controlling behaviours, belonging, our warm desire for security and our penchant for celebrating absolutely everything because that’s how we deal with life.
4. Royal Portrait
This portrait of my wonderful grandmother dressed as the queen sums up her cinematic, exuberant take on life and why she inspires and invigorates me as an artist. I feel compelled to involve her in the life and soul of celebrations and events. She really believes in her role here as the Queen and is empowered in a way that has a poignancy to it as she’s draped in a blanket and is wearing a plastic toy crown.
5. Being Together
The theme of my Masters degree was an investigation into the impact that an artist offers to social cohesion. This involved an academic study of the development of individual and social identity and I made it my mission ever since to embrace the moment and combine my appreciation of the links that can be fostered between communities and Art. I put this into full swing by exploring what it means to belong to my own family.
6. Bought/Found/Created Royalty
I have never followed the Royals before but as the wedding approached I became fascinated by the event and its portrayal in the media and its commodification in Kate and Wills false nails, pizzas and, my favourite, a real fridge-freezer costing over £2,000! Friends started to give me gifts until our house was littered with regal bunting, cupcakes, tea towels, calendars and even a Union Jack doormat to place in front of our royal blue front door!