My practice primarily focuses on memory; its ephemeral, ever-fleeting nature, unreliability and subjectivity. Thus I approach this matter through the portrait by painting from found photographs of anonymous people. I use the motif of a Polaroid photograph and upscale it onto large boards to provide a physical metaphor of memory entitled “Memento”. The figures represented in the white frame of the ‘film’ can appear indistinct and faded into the dark background, henceforth epitomizing the uncertainty of memory. The Polaroid film also conveys a sense of nostalgia. To me it symbolizes mankind’s obsession and near addiction to preservation and unwillingness to let go of moments however mundane or momentous – in some ways the portraits convey my ever-growing fear of forgetting as I become older, if having ever really remembered accurately at all. This sense of forlornness conjures up themes of isolation, which I have tried to communicate through my smaller piece entitled “The Outsider”. Based on the book of the same name by Albert Camus, the piece contains a self-portrait painted onto the back of a Polaroid film within a frame of its own positioned beside a larger frame with fifty portraits on Polaroid film. These portraits are even more abstracted than the larger paintings, thus expressing personal feelings of alienation in this absurd world. They form the notion there is no clear, collective purpose to our lives and that we are all, “a society of island universes”.

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