Currently, I work with imagery I have discovered in junk shops, bins or those passed on by relatives. Taking these images and transcribing them onto wire mesh offers up nostalgia by distorting the original subject matter or identity, perhaps allowing the viewer to reminisce. Physically, the imagery becomes pixellated, fleeting and emphemeral.
The wire mesh is the support onto which the images are printed and is a familiar material from my past. I grew up in the outback of Western Australia on a farm. Wire was used on the windows and doors of our farmhouse as a form of safety and protection from animals and insects.
My current work, SHOWOFF's, is a series of hand pulled, screen-printed images and is a continuum from my Mistaken Identity collection. Mostly the images are taken from transparencies; however, I began collecting more and more black-and-white photographs, which opened a new possibility to begin hand colouring and painting the images before the printing process. As a consequence, the more I printed, the more painterly they became. Each image is variable and nestled within these images lay inherent, subtle elements of humour and absurdity either by name or content.
The subject matter references our inherent need to use material possessions and experiences as a marker for success. We generally all have the need to ‘show’ someone by photographing the experience, car, house, etc and never has this been more prevalent than now, with the use of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and other social media.
As I sifted though these mostly retro fifties images, I discovered this pattern has always been around. This need to show off our latest partner, car, child, house, etc. had never been more important to people in general than in the post-war boom times.
Humans have an innate need to show off what they possess in order to elevate and define themselves. I have specifically chosen these images for various reasons – for their composition, content, humour and quirky nature, and of course the element of showing off.