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.