One day you are productive, active, vital member of society and the workforce, the team and then not. Cast aside and told you are no longer needed.
The effects of redundancy are devastating and lead one to self doubt and self recrimination when in reality it is the consequence of decisions beyond one's control.
The title is from a documentary about the RD Laing, a Scottish psychiatrist who wrote extensively on mental illness. It refers to being someone and then no one, a person no one recognizes; or feeling that way anyway.
I have painted shadows drifting across the canvas to denote the passing of time, I have scratched the surface to express a feeling of being obsolete, and given the subject a ghostly pallor to suggest her time has come and gone, haunting us with the idea that we may not be treated any better and that what happens to one often happens to others, she is a foreboding.
This is the fifteenth painting a series of paintings I have embarked on, called "Sinister Selfies"; a project of paintings which distorts the idea of selfies. Instead of being snapshots of rampant narcissism in various sunny or celebratory locations, they instead invite and allow the viewer into a world which implies darker human realities such as addiction, co-dependency, trauma, terror, abuse, disgust, self loathing, disintegration of self, imination, redundancy, bullying, fascism and the effects of neoliberalism on our lives.
All areas of human experience close to my heart, so to speak.
Instead of snapshots of mindless self idolatry these sinister selfies give us a peak into other's lives and their discordant emotions and psychology and also into our shared communally lives generally and more presciently.
They reveal the aspects of self and humanity we would rather hide away, the sometimes unpalatable, even disturbing reality behind the facade we maintain in public.
Essentially I use a icon of our time, the Smartphone selfie, to turn a our gaze onto so-called darker elements of the human condition, mainly using heightened vibrant colour, distorted imagery and odd sized canvas.
oil on linen canvas