HALO TANGO, (2019 - 2021) Artist's Statement
This work forms a loosely woven fictional narrative around a female protagonist that is depicted in a small hand-drawn portrait. ‘Mrs Eyles’, a woman drawn in charcoal by another woman Betty Steer in 1962. The charity-shop portrait bookends this story.
I picked up the portrait in a local charity shop and the image
of this women began to resonate. I started to consider the everyday lives of women in 1962 (when the portrait was made) and over the progress of the feminist movement up to the present day. When I started this work the ‘Me Too’ revelations were being discussed across the media and amongst friends.
Part still life, part landscape and part found imagery this series has slowly evolved to form a sometimes-cryptic story set within a claustrophobic domestic stage alongside images of the landscape. There are occasional images of escape – that are perhaps, not actually accessible.
I want the work to acknowledge the everyday simple actions of ordinary women. Seemingly small, often quiet, unacknowledged lived actions that in many real ways, slowly change the world. These reactions to society can make a difference, move us forwards, but they can also come with an on-going lived frustration at a world that is just not equal.
There is sense of theatrical tension or frustration including anger, even aggression. But this is not without a slice of melodrama. Saturated colour from out-dated camera filters offer a fuzzy lens through which to observe this recent past.
There is a silence to the work. The photographic fixes these slightly sickly, nostalgic scenes from a faded but still remembered past. Photography and the photographic can act as a perfect half-truth - this story is both playfully made-up and very real.