BOAT PEOPLE - on a recent trip to the south coast, on a sunny Saturday, I noticed became aware of the contract between the pleasure seeking boating activities just offshore and my knowledge that at the same time large numbers of desperate families and individuals were attempting to cross the same body of water, putting themselves in great danger in an attempt to forge a safer life in the UK. At the same time the UK government were pushing through the Nationality & Borders Bill in order to make it more difficult for migrants to gain safe haven, and shamefully proposing to pay France millions towards border patrols.
When we talk about maritime leisure we use positive terms like ‘pleasure cruise’ or ‘messing about on the water’. The language used, especially in the media, about refugees or migrants, is encourages negative even criminal reading of the issue, the same language used in relation to drug importation or gun running, ‘human trafficking’ ‘illegal immigrants’ ‘aliens’.
This new body of work is a personal response to the escalating human tragedy of those facing desperate choices and the xenophobia of the media and politicians. In making my ‘boat people’ and my use of pleasure boating titles, I’m attempting to highlight the dichotomous nature or the issue and encourage in the spectator a more human, humanitarian response. CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE
'RUST's a sculptural project comprising a series of wall mounted panels and free-standing relief panels. The works has developed in response to an increasing sense of individual isolation born of global crises and catalysed by the 2020 pandemic. The works are displayed in the communal areas of Gainsborough Works, a converted shoe factory in Stafford UK, now housing the studios and workshops of artists and creative businesses
Rust n. Any of various powdery or scaly reddish-brown or reddish-yellow hydrated ferric oxides and hydroxides formed on iron and iron-containing materials by low-temperature oxidation in the presence of water. CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE