‘The process of becoming visible after being concealed’
I first started documenting my found animal skull collection during lockdown in 2020 and exhibited them at The Gallery at the Guild as headline exhibitions ‘Emergence’ (2021) and ‘Return of the Light’ (2022).
Beauty is often described as being skin deep, of being external, and yet the physical form underneath, the skeleton on which we hang our definable characteristics has a beauty all of its own. Each curve, facet and protrusion has a purpose, a function, but when faced with a skull the reaction is often one of aversion. Yet we all have one of our own!
Weathered bone takes on a patina like a piece of antique furniture. It bears the marks of its journey through both life and death. I try to capture this history in my paintings, encompassing irregularities both natural and post-mortum. The compositions are not your classical oblique end-on views of skulls, rather I have captured them as if they themselves were hanging on the wall challenging our view of what a portrait should be.
By using 23ct gold-leaf I am elevating the status of the mundane to something worthy, allowing what was once concealed to become visible, revealing the beauty within: a celebration of life, death and giving a sense of rebirth. Gold is reflective by nature. Reflections literally are the ‘return of the light’. The warm tones of the gold are comforting, glimmering like a sunrise, offering new hope of better times ahead.
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