' Hideaway', oil, acrylic & household paint on canvas, 100x100cm, 2017-19.
Title reference: Erasure The Circus Mute Records released 1987.
Two kitsch ceramic-deer-ornament-bookends playfully stand sentinel-like buttressing a towering ‘Fort Saumerez’ within a sea of monotone blue. Ironically the innocent ‘hunted’ has become the ‘protector’ of the impenetrable Fortress despite undermining it’s deception tactics by contrarily drawing attention to it ‘beacon-like’ (rather than allowing it to blend in).
This four-storey concrete coastal observation tower was a built upon, and disguised as, a Martello tower from the Napoleonic Wars. This strengthening adaptation of existing forts, and approach to camouflage, is typical of the German fortification of the Channel Islands during 1940-45. I passed this huge imposing structure twice a day on the school bus.
My use of ceramic ornaments has been inspired by my childhood intrigue of my Nana’s ‘displayed’ collectables. My placing of ceramics in juxtaposition with redundant architecture of war (from my childhood playground) further undermines its intended wartime purpose, and metaphorically oppression in general. I am interested in the similarities; man-made artificiality: material-mixed, poured and cast fabrication as well as their contrasts; fragility v strength, tiny v colossal, smooth v coarse, shiny v dull, colourful v colourless, ornamentation – to collect and display (keep) v defence – to be hidden and kill (take away).
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