I am delighted to announce that Deepest Darkest Art Gallery will represent a new body of work at this year’s AKAA (Also Known As Africa) Art Fair in Paris France this year.
I work primarily with the captured image by utilizing vintage photographs sourced from flea markets and even from my own family archives, which are used as is, or blown up to a larger scale as can be seen here.
There is a tension in using family photographs because their purpose is sentimental, functional, personal and therefore not usually considered as art objects. By replacing the faces with embroidered rubber masks from different cultures, these vintage photographs become mysterious objects of preservation
“Appearances are a construction, a merging from the debris of all that has previously appeared” John Berger
Gary Edson in his book: Masks and masking wrote “The history of early humans continues to be discovered in the symbols, images and myths that have survived and masks are an important part of the process”
The masks are a disguise. It is a method of hiding the identity of an individual for purposes of transformation as can be seen in the work titled: Three noble boys grew to be wise and strong.
In the work: The puppets bought a ticket for the puppet show. These portraits, by losing their original identities, have the chance to become something different. They tell a story of distant colonies and traditions taken across continents to an unknown land populated by, in this case, puppets.
These discarded remnants of the past are reworked, and the treatment of these remnants are at times ghoulish and macabre, for example “Thank you for saving my life said the wicked cat” where I used a photograph of my mother in law as a child and We both love cats. The lace like skull (constructed from discarded doillies – by the way a doillie is a small ornamental mat made of lace or paper or thread and are usually put on a plate under cakes or other sweet food. ) This work is perhaps symbolic of the end of youth and a look at my own mortality.
Text used as titles, are like the photographs – found, reconfigured and appropriated as a narrative. I am interested in how simply changing the text underneath an image can radically altered the image’s message.
The combination of text and photos gives me freedom to make relationships between words cut from vintage colouring books and found photographs as well as my own embroidered masks inspired by African, and other cultural masks.
Fairy tales and characters from stories are a theme that goes back to some of my earliest works – like these doll like rubber works that can be seen here:
So if you find yourself in Paris from tomorrow 21 October 2022- 23 October 2022, please pop in at Booth B12 Carreau du Temple, 4 Rue Eugene Spuller, Paris, to view the works in the flesh!
I wish you a good Knight – I mean night 😉
p.s if you can not make it to Paris, feel free to register your interest with the gallery by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org