I’m interested in how interacting with portraiture and figurative work prompts us to draw from a mental archive of pop culture, art history, stereotypes and personal relationships. Working from my own mental archive, I’m often struck by my own subconscious desire to exaggerate and dramatise these lodged figures. The mental archive of images is collective, and creates inter- subjectivities. I’m continuously exploring how viewers draw from this shared imaginary. In my work real people collide with the cartoon-like characters of dreams and memories. This is something I explore in my work as a comedian as well as a painter.
I’m also investigating the pleasures of imaginative engagement with portraiture in relation to Kendall Walton’s concept of ‘imaginative projection’. Walton compares our interaction with represented figures to the use of props, like a child would a doll. I construct these protagonists with this theory in mind as the figures become potential visual cues or dolls for the viewer’s ‘reality’.
I follow a process of consecutive re-appropriation and distancing from an image which allows these archetypal images to be re-constructed more objectively. I aim to create boisterous protagonists which directly address the viewer and the space in which they are hung. I often parody low-brow, girlish aesthetics and the cultural category of ‘teenage girl hysteria’. I am committed to exploiting with humour and irreverence the decorative function of images of figures, especially in its relation to the feminine.