(wtf is?) Lowbrow features a collection of artworks from a group of London Miles Gallery artists. The exhibition will include original paintings from Xue Wang, Alex Young, Nom Kinnear King, Tiffany Liu, Joe Ledbetter, Scott C, David Marsh, Morning Breath, Fernando Chamarelli and limited edition prints from Silvia Ji, Caia Koopman, Kukula, Jade Klara, Carles Gomila, Tom Bagshaw and many more..
Just finished this new piece which belongs to the fun fair theme. It's the 5th painting in the series. Having been busy over the 2 group exhibitions at London Miles Gallery, I have taken a long time to complete this series. However, there are another two on their way, and I hope I can complete them in a week's time.
The Execution of Lady Jane Grey 1833, Paul Delaroche
Trash Baby Oil on Cardboard 33 x 26 inch
When I first encountered Delaroche’s epic work (the dimensions of the original virtually fill one wall of the National Gallery), I was struck by the drama and deathly anticipation of the piece. Lady Jane Grey (1536/7?-1554) has the unfortunate moniker ‘The Nine Days Queen’. She was imprisoned in the Tower of London and beheaded after claims to her succession were undermined by Mary Tudor. The tale behind her decline and rapid fall is typical of the political machinations of the time. But I find her death, at such a tender age amongst so much personal and social turmoil, particularly moving. It is this sadness that drew me to this work.
In my response to Delaroche’s sombre and highly staged painting, the execution has become a chaotic and choreographed set piece. There are hints of a film set and the female participants are curiously objectified. The world they find themselves in, where hope and fear are irrelevant, is sickly sweet and unremitting.
My inspiration for this piece started from the magical Tudor style houses seen in Britain.
The texture of old oak timbers, warped with age and the bulging walls of these buildings are to my foreign eye, the quintessence of ‘Englishness’.
I also find the monochrome contrast of black wood and white plaster visually powerful. These elements I have incorporated in this painting. The sombre interior is given relief from the rear window light. The main figure is engaged in a very British ritual (tea time). She is chastened by her doll who holds the key to her liberation. Although trapped inside her darkened room, her dream reality permits her to enjoy the exterior freedom of her doll’s house.
In this piece I took the Anderson fairy tale of The Steadfast Tin Soldier as my departure point. I love the imagery of children’s stories and you will notice that I’ve tried to combine this with an essentially film noirHollywood décor. The result is, I hope, something dislocated. Centre stage, the lady appears both impassive and oblivious to the uniformed figure she straddles. The intimacy of their pose is negated by her indifference. She stares out blankly, tears staining her face. Why is she crying? Surely not on account of her lover. The incapacitated rusty tin soldier, rejected for his physical deformity may hold our attention but not necessarily win our sympathy. He cannot express feeling but simply evoke reaction. Still the ballerina-cum-harlot in my piece peers into his hollow metal interior and projects her love for him. As to the nature and evolution of their relationship, I cannot say. The viewer is left to ponder.