On The Bright Side

On The Bright Side

Thank You, NHS and Key Workers

Firstly, I would like to express my gratitude for all our NHS and key workers who have worked tirelessly, some giving their own lives, to support the nation in this difficult time. It has been an honour to work on this piece and I have felt incredibly inspired to create something to remember this time as visual footnote. On The Bright Side, set amongst the iconic landmarks of Trafalgar Square, draws together a collection of ideas and themes that occurred to me during lockdown – along with a few cuttings!

It has been a challenging piece to say the least. There was a constant danger of tightening up too much and not letting the expressive ideas come out, the vigour and the semi-abstract bits that come out when you are less caring, when you go for it and are not bothered about it being right or wrong. But this piece had to be right.

It was a slow burn as it always is when trying to work on an important piece. I went through all the usual stages with plenty of flamboyancy to start with then bringing it on gradually and methodically. It’s always a matter of pushing and pulling themes and ideas, particularly on a piece like this where I had plenty that I wanted to shoehorn in.

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You will find my usual wit and play on words but treading the line carefully.The intention was not to mock the gravity of the situation, rather to use humour as an antidote whilst celebrating the resilience and stoicism of the British nation.

Symbolism

The piece holds a lot of symbolism, particularly in the rainbow and I spent a lot of time studying rainbows before adding this one. I was inspired by an image of Trafalgar Square, which did not actually have a rainbow, but it had a really strong light clipping the tops of the buildings in a golden colour, versus the shadowed area below. Then I thought about how to add a rainbow in my own way. Should I collage it? Should it be freehand? Or should it be accurate? I’m pleased with the result and I hope that it does its justice.

The light effect and colour scheme and busyness back in London was also an important part of the overall message, that one day we might see London back to the normal we knew, once again. I hope this piece can remind us that as we slowly learn different ways of living and working, the spirit of the British people will guide us through.

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