Confidence Tricks, oil and bitumen on canvas, 80x 100x4cm, 2018

 ‘Technologies of the self’ are the ways we are told to make ourselves better, improve our opportunities be more confident and thus be more successful. An appealing ideology – one that my religious upbringing used to control; it’s our responsibility to be good, to succeed, to change ourselves for the ‘better.’

We can all learn to improve ourselves  yet this is also a devious psychology. It is a way of displacing blame for cultural inequalities back on individual instead of on the institutions that perpetuate them.

There are a range of ‘confidence tricks’ lampooned in this dark dystopian view of life at home with mothers who are so often blamed for  – everything.

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large detailed painting with figures of mothers and children

Babel Tower – the life Raft of Language, oil and bitumen on canvas, 80x 100x4cm, 2019 Selected for round one of the Mother Art Prize, 2020

A detailed bitumen drip, this painting is figurative and surreal fun. It features dozens of small children and their carers, depicting the crazy lives of (mostly) women at home. Women whose days are spent having to talk nonsense with small children. No wonder they go mad.

Scribbled texts and crowded space is used to produce the effect of an intense daily grind from which there is no escape. The daily grind and sleepless nights often leads to mental health issues for parents and this is painted to counter ideal portrayals of domestic bliss.

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colourful painting of many women caring children

Sleepless Nights, Complicated Days, oil and bitumen painting, 80x100x4cm, 2020

Featured on Covid Chronicles, this painting was painted during the first lockdown in 2020 at home, instead of at my studio.

It is brighter and lighter than some of the other paintings in the series. It unashamedly explores the visual narrative of joy and pain of mothers and carers stuck at home. The process of mark making is arduous as every bitumen line has to be wiped down to remove excess oil medium. I feel this mopping-up process imitates caring and cleaning in our every day lives.

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dark and colourful large painting of women and children

Imposing order on Chaos, oil and bitumen on canvas, 80x 100x4cm, 2018

Domestic Dystopia paintings combine every day domestic details with strange medieval or historical paintings scenes. The use of bitumen paint dripped on the surface is significant as it abstracts and adds a tactile fluidity.

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