'HOWSE' [2018]

'HOWSE' [2018] is a giant, timed, inflatable installation depicting the heightened (but short-lived) moment of euphoria experienced when winning a full house at Bingo. The piece unashamedly sweeps the viewer up into the protagonist's frenzied and unrelenting journey through the highs and lows of life/bingo. 

The inflatable itself is my own image printed onto ripstop nylon and is approximately 2.5 metres high, spanning 3.5 metres across. The photograph is of a woman (my grandma) posed in a moment of triumph after winning the 'full house' at Bingo. I have hand sewn the structure and secured it to a base to give the impression that she is erupting straight from the ground. She inflates for 10 seconds (via an air blower) and deflates for 130 seconds (via a hole in her head). Conceptually the piece takes a minor swerve away from the sports world and into the world of 'leisure and entertainment'. Subconsciously the more recent work has been looking at provincial areas and communities where Bingo (and football) provides a sense of hope and escapism. 

When I first planned this installation I contacted the photographer Michael Hess who's book 'Bingo and Social Club' collated photographs from the unknown and untapped world of Bingo! “Bingo halls are not just about gambling; they’re about human beings. They really do act as social hubs for many communities.” (More detailed analysis here.) The idea was to collaborate with him on a photograph to use for the giant inflatable Bingo woman. When I explained the concept to him and showed him the work he was really keen on the collaboration. I also was in contact with an inflatable production company in China and exploring the possibilities of getting the piece manufactured professionally. 

In the end I took my own image, edited and stretched it, had it printed in London onto ripstop nylon, sewed the whole structure myself, sourced the air blower and programmed the timer. This 'make do and mend' production process follows on from my previous 'no frills' aesthetic and remains true to my practices priorities: the idea is priority and should remain authentic. With this in mind I hope that the work can be enjoyed by its basic principals rather than being something magical and unreachable. 

The main difference between 'HOWSE' and 'GET IN' is it's step into the controlled and coded world of Arduino (over the unpredictable and unreliable world of analogue motors.) With the piece inadvertently commenting on these provincial communities in England, Arduino micro-controller boards may perhaps represent a higher power. This (bingo) woman's cycle of inflation and deflation is ultimately controlled by this 'higher power'.

'HOWSE' is a strangely accurate portrait of my grandma and perhaps the most attention seeking piece of artwork I have produced. Joyful, terrifying, overwhelming and full of dark (Monty Python-esque) humour. As her cigarette drops to the floor the viewer is invested as her whole body sinks downwards, head down, arms stretched, crumpled, drooping and punctured. Then the air blower fires up again, the air rushes through her body and she bursts into life, stretched at the seams, roaring like Godzilla, like an air-raid siren, shouting to the audience from the other end of the room "I'M HERE AND I'VE JUST WON A FULL HOWSE! LIFE IS GOOD AGAIN!" 


'GET IN' [2018] 

The 'GET IN' installation was initially triggered by an Open Call from Sky Arts : "Post Brexit Britain. Who are we? An artistic debate about our national identity as we approach a future outside of the EU. What does it mean to be British?" 

In my application I proposed a kinetic art installation which "replicates the monumental, euphoric moment when a football team scores and the crowd celebrates". I instinctively linked the concept of British identity with a football crowd because of its sense of community. Sport, particularly in this country, has huge power and influence, it engages and attracts an almost religious following. As an artist who explores what it is that makes us human, a British football crowd can take you from one end of the euphoric scale to the other. Football isn't necessarily represented or questioned very much within the art world, perhaps because it engages with a community who wouldn't ordinarily visit a gallery. But why not? I am an Artist who goes to galleries but I am also a football fan who goes to matches. If sport is engaging with such a wide spread of society maybe the art world could tap into this appeal. 


'GET IN' features 2 football stands from which football fan heads on wires stand upright. Above are 2 hanging structures holding the football fans' arms, which lift up and down via windscreen wiper motors. When the arms are pulled to their highest point they align with the heads in a brief moment of celebration until they drop again and repeat the cycle. Exhibiting alongside 'HOWSE', both pieces are looking at a never-ending loop of euphoria and despair. Whilst 'HOWSE' sits in an entertainment and leisure context, 'GET IN' looks specifically at football (and the britishness of it) but can be broadly appropriated to the viewers own experiences of sport and fandom.

As humans we do the same thing over and over, with an occasional blip (or jolt) in the system. This pattern of behaviour mirrors the motors used in this installation. When working with analogue motors you can never guarantee that each rotation will be the same, two windscreen wiper motors will never perfectly sync, particularly if they are lifting slightly different weights at slightly different angles. You can't perfectly align sound with the lifting of the arms because the motor may loose or gain momentum at any rotation. Repetitive but inconsistent, occasionally unpredictable and always carries the possibility of burning out altogether (like us.)

I would really love to get this piece in front of a football audience, for future editions of this series I will look to collaborate with football clubs/sports companies.

[Monumental Moments.]

A lot of my work comes back to monumental moments of heightened emotion (good or bad.) In my video piece 'PRIMAL SCREAM', I compiled personal and appropriated footage in an endless search for the ultimate moment of elation. 

In 'GROUNDED' figures floated endlessly in the air, making human flight temporarily plausible. In 'WSM' I have trapped weightlifters in an endless lifting cycle and in 'Jog on' I have appropriated human faces from amateur runners clearly in a moment of physical discomfort whilst running a distance. In 'Sharapova vs Williams' I have captured only the moments when the ball hits the racket and the two women scream/grunt/roar. In ' What's the big idea?' I have used images of faces looking up into a light and spun them in an endless moment of contemplation. In 'Boxing Stare Downs' rather than looking at the match itself I have concentrated on the moment just before the fight when they are looking intensely into one another's eyes. 

A lot of these moments, specifically in relation to sport, involve humans experiencing heightened emotions by moving to the outermost limits of their beings. Boxers in the ring ease out of sanity's consciousness and into another. Like an immortal super-hero they can be knocked down by an opponent and still come out victorious. A weightlifter can lift weights unimaginable to most humans and a man in a Red Bull suit can jump from space (seen in 'PRIMAL SCREAM'). These monumental moments are addictive viewing. Why is it that people choose to reach these moments at the risk of death? Does it make them feel alive? What does finishing a marathon feel like? It seems that as a society we are obsessed with this idea of the extreme. Amongst a fast-paced and visually stimulated world we are under pressure to feel happiness all the time. These monumental moments which I continue to appropriate into my work are often allowing me to understand my own place in the world.

One piece that I continue to go back to in relation to monumental moments is Mark Leckey's 'Fiorucci Made me Hardcore'. The video captures British nightlife, found footage is spliced together with a collage of ambient sound, rave tracks and crowd noises. Obvious themes concerning the romanticism of nostalgia are undeniably questioned, but for me the piece represents the pure and simple transcendent joy in dancing. That out of body experience I was previously talking about in the boxing ring can be found on the dance floor. It's a simple yet poignant unification of a frenzied, youthful and euphoric ritual.  

'Jog on' [2017]

Like many of my pieces, I first had the idea for 'Jog on' when I was watching the television. The London Marathon was on and all I could see on the screen at the start of the race was a see of bobbing heads, moving as though their bodies weren't attached, all running in the same direction. It seemed like a funny moment to catch and my instinct was to somehow reenact it with cardboard cut outs. 

The piece is quite simple; 1 elective drive motor attached to a welded pulley mechanism pulling 10 foam board heads up and down via wire and hooks. 'Jog on' marked an important and natural turning point in the work; rather than story telling in a time-based medium I was now story telling with objects. My previous video editing techniques (cropping, layering, repeating, reversing) have now been transferred into kinetic installations. Rather than taking a moving image and manipulating it (digitally) I am taking a static object and manipulating its movement with a motor, thereby making it seem alive. Rather than the work being viewed through a screen it is now existing and interacting with the social space of the gallery. I have found since moving into kinetic sculpture the viewer is closer to the work, it is interrupting a physical space rather than staying at a safe (and familiar) distance (behind a screen). 

The wooden hanging structure on wheels has allowed the work to be portable and adaptable but I still feel I could push the piece further and have the installation moving in an endless race around an endless track (maybe in a circle, anchored with a piece of rope.) Will these runners ever reach the finish line? This reminds me of the Bedwyr Williams exhibition I saw at The Curve [full analysis here] where he installed a giant athletics running track at the end of the gallery space. When talking about it, Bedwyr said "I was thinking about the people who wouldn't like the exhibition and imagined them having to finish it on a running track, like a rubbish athlete." 

When 'Jog on' was selected for Xhibit 2018 and shown for a month at Bermondsey Project Space it was great to see it received by a large footfall. The initial response from people coming up the stairs and seeing it for the first time was almost always laughter. Hearing "my husband really isn't into art but he absolutely loved your work" made me realise where my practice is currently sitting within the art world. Perhaps for a number of reasons (humour, familiar imagery, reference to sport, DIY aesthetic, interactive and performative elements) the work seems to be appealing to a wider audience. Art for the many not for the few...  

'Jog on' [2017]
'Jog on' [2017]
'Jog on' [2017]
'Jog on' [2017]
'Jog on' [2017] development
'Jog on' [2017]
London Marathon

'What's the big idea?' (2017)

'What's the big idea?' coincided with my making of 'Jog on' and a site-specific exhibition at the Crypt gallery in St Pancras. I had been experimenting with the cardboard marathon heads and soon realised I was accidentally playing with this idea of decapitated heads. The kinetic sculpture ended up compiling very simple elements to lightly question our contemporary world and its relationship to faith, religion and ritual. It consisted of a battery powered disco ball motor, a hand-drilled metal connector, a battery powered light bulb, piano wire and cardboard heads. Because of its placement in the Crypt its main source of light was the piece itself so from the far end of the corridor you could only catch glimpses of floating faces looking up towards the light.  Keeping the idea simple gave the piece room for humour and the movement of the heads proved really effective in an otherwise static space. As it hung there at the end of the corridor it reminded me of some sort of strange baby mobile or homemade disco lampshade. Subconsciously, the number of male heads outnumbered the number of female heads in search for the 'light.' Pope Francis is hidden amongst the heads in acknowledgement to my upbringing and the inclusion of Trump is a subtle nod to our planet's current moral compass. The (battery powered) lightbulb may represent the light of God, it may represent a computer screen or even a cartoon Eureka moment, as always with my work the interpretation is up to the viewer. Whatever this light may symbolise these human heads are looking up towards it in a moment of contemplation, spinning and searching for something.

'Sharapova vs Williams' [2017]

This piece is a tennis ball. Inside the tennis ball is a tiny (but loud) speaker playing the sound piece. For the sound piece I sifted through the entire audio of a tennis match between Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams in 2016 and edited out all sounds excluding the ball hitting the racket and the two women screaming. Other elements of sound can be detected including the squeaks from the women's trainers as they change direction in the game and the noise of the crowd reacting to the game. Both women are infamous for their exaggerated and sometimes intimidating screams when playing so you can imagine this match in 2016 was quite a spectacle. The 'slice of time' here is the moment the ball hits the racket but the surrounding sounds allow the viewer to imagine the scenario. 


The fact that the speaker is hidden within a tennis ball is a big hint to the viewer with regards to the source of the sound material but it would be interesting to investigate whether the sound would be as easily identifiable without it. I like the simplicity of the piece, the quality of the sound means that the whole atmosphere of the court can be emitted from this tiny ball. The piece itself plays with the senses; the viewer can hear the movement of the ball and feet and screams and yet it sits there completely still. Again, I am attempting to take something very ordinary and familiar and warp it slightly in order to highlight the ridiculousness of the scenario. These two women are letting out guttural, animalistic screams as they hit the ball, you can occasionally hear the crowds laughter at quite a primeval display of strength and intimidation. 

Similarly to the 'Boxing Stare Downs' series I am looking at the relationship between two contenders and how this can create quite an intimate and frightening encounter. The difference here is that I am looking at women. In a lot of my previous work, specifically within the sporting domain, a lot of the subjects have been men. The weight-lifters, the boxers, the runners, the old Irish folk singers; with such male-based subjects a lot of the interpretations would skirt over to masculinity. Now this work specifically looks at two women and two athletes. The tension builds as the two women exchange shots, gain points and try and scream louder than one another. The screams represent some sort of physical and mental release in the game, 

'Boxing Stare Downs' [2017]

Ritual : "a religious or solemn ceremony of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order". When you look at this definition of a ritual it is clear to see that boxing aligns itself with that of a solemn ceremony. The crowd hysteria surrounding a boxing match is similar to that of a religious cult, the pre-match rituals undertaken by fighters become part of their ceremonial routine and the training undertaken by a fighter is both relentless and disciplined. The boxing ring which sits in the middle of the crowd is like an alter of sacrifice, the glamour of immortality surrounds both fighters and the referee lodges between the two providing a moral conscience (like that of a priest.) 


Is sport our new religion?

"'Boxing Stare Downs' is a series consisting of four video pieces. Each video features real footage of two boxers merging in a stare down before they fight. The frame cuts out the swarm of spectators around the ring and concentrates on the objects of their gaze; two opponents completely focused on one another.In all four video pieces the referee appears at some point between the two fighters as an obstruction and mediator. Occasionally a neck rub can be seen from the trainer but regardless of the mayhem behind them the two men never break eye contact. Whilst these moments offer a chance to intimidate the opponent with a fearless, unwavering stare, I have flipped the charged atmosphere on its head by pairing the encounters with a series of love songs. Suddenly with lyrics from The Who playing out "...no one knows what its like, to be the bad man, to be the sad man, behind blue eyes..."alongside a slowed down clip of Ray Leonard and Wilfred Benitez, both fighters look vulnerable. The nervous energy, intimidation and adrenaline has been channelled into a softer exchange and the atmosphere is temporarily transformed by the soundtrack. I am taking something familiar and warping it; the songs may be about love and loss but we as viewers know that what will follow will inevitably be violent. This violence within boxing also provided uncomfortable viewing at Paul Pfeiffer's exhibition at the Thomas Dane Gallery (click here for full critical analysis.) 

I made 'Boxing Stare Downs' after watching the Anthony Joshua vs Klitschko fight, which sold out seats at Wembley Stadium, and during a time when boxing had been thrust back into the public consciousness via the spectacle of Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather. It's interesting to look back at the pieces now; they quite clearly hark back to the good old days of boxing but not much has changed in terms its sense of theatre and pantomime. I seem to keep returning to sport within my work (apart from the recent detour into the Bingo Gala) because it provides me with an endless stream of rich material. Heightened emotion, physical exhaustion, humans pushing their bodies to extreme limits, peaking, competing and breaking records. Boxing has continuously split public opinion with some believing it is brutal and primeval and others believing it is poetic, tactical and captivating. With this work, like Pfeiffer, I want to bring elements of this world into the art world for evaluation. 

Boxing Stare Downs (1)
Boxing Stare Downs (2)
Boxing Stare Downs (3)
Being Stare Downs (4)
Joyce Carol Oates
Paul Pfeiffer
Neil Leifer.
'Boxing Stare Downs'
'WSM' 2017.
Eddie Hall ft. in 'WSM' series.
Sketchbook pages
Markus Wüste

'WSM' [2017].

'WSM' (2017) is a video and print series. The video compilation(s) consist of appropriated footage taken from past "World's Strongest Man" events and the clips have been edited together in such a way that each weightlifter is left with no time to rest; the red faces, bulging eyes, puff of the cheeks, swelling of the veins - all signs that their bodies are endlessly being pushed to the limit. Zooming in on the faces and framing them within the boundaries of an old television screen magnifies the appearance of what can be classified as an obsessive mentality in the context of strength, masculinity, body image and addiction. The use of the old television monitor also harks back to my childhood, watching WSM on the small TV in the back room eating fish fingers and chips. The overall result evokes an undeniable sense of humour and excitement in the repetition of the chosen imagery. 

When showing the work at Gazelli Art House (more information here) stills from the video were enlarged to the point of pixelation and printed onto vinyl fitted to the size of the first floor windows. On the ground floor the old TV sets flanked the doorway playing the two compilations on an endless loop. On reflection this was quite a poignant moment; my work was still very much reliant on video but by freezing the video, enlarging it and trapping these straining faces within the confines of the window pane the work was becoming much more accessible to the public.  

This piece is another example of my work looking at repetitive statements. I had previously looked at the act of falling in mid-air in 'GROUNDED' which had zoomed in on a specific part of a previous video piece 'PRIMAL SCREAM' which compiled 'moments of elation. 'WSM' not only pushed my work specifically into the sports realm but it was also my first attempt at repeating the SAME moment over and over (rather than a series of similar actions.) So the weightlifter is trapped in an endless lifting motion; this proves frustrating and strenuous to watch and highlights the mental strength and discipline associated with the sport. This piece triggered a thread of 'moments in sport' ('Boxing Stare Downs', 'Sharapova vs Williams', 'Jog on', 'GET IN'.)

For a future extension of the series I would still like to have the television monitors attached to a stepper motor, following the journey of the weight lifter's heads : up and drop, up and drop etc. Funnily enough, after having this idea I stumbled across the work of Markus Wüste (seen to the left) ''Snatching Reality' (2008) PC based video installation and pneumatic actuator (for full video click here).

Working more recently with motors whilst teaching myself the mechanical elements and collaborating with technicians such as Grzeisiek in DMC with the Arduino Uno elements of my inflatable Bingo pieces has made me want to collaborate more in future projects with motoring experts to realise kinetic artworks. 

[Windows - spreading the gallery outwards to the public.]

Thanks to my collaboration with Gazelli Art House last Spring, elements of my work shifted from video installation to large scale vinyl prints. Screenshots from my 'WSM' series were enlarged to the point of pixelation and printed onto vinyl fitted to the size of the windows. I remember a point when we were half way through installing the prints where I looked over onto the street and there was a group of builders having a cigarette looking up at the windows and laughing. This gave me a bit of a eureka moment - using the windows and spreading the gallery space outwards meant that people who wouldn't ordinarily enter a gallery space were able to look at the work from a comfortable distance. The men in my videos had suddenly entered a social arena and could be seen, laughed at and Instagrammed from the other end of Stafford Street. These straining faces, confined to a rectangular window and squished up against the glass were stand alone pieces that were explained further within the videos if a passerby were curious enough to come closer. 

So when Mark Jeffreys approached me about 'Window 71' (a public exhibition space in North London) I jumped at the chance of showing my main man again. The idea of these strong men mid-lift popping up behind windows across the country is really exciting for me.'Window 71' is a window platform for Artists, in collaboration with a local business. This window sits at the front of an Estate Agents in Seven Sisters; the owner is offering a free exterior exhibiting space in collaboration with his property business. This idea in itself is brilliant and links back to this idea of Relational Aesthetics; artwork taking as its theoretical horizon the realm of human interactions and its social context, rather than the assertion of an independent and private symbolic space. In other words I am avoiding the white gallery space and trying to slip the work into the subconscious of the public. 

Same, Same but Different offered another opportunity to show the series. At the front of Lightbox Gallery in Leicester there were five huge windows looking into the gallery, Catherine had the idea to use the windows as an exhibiting opportunity so I prepared 5 different screenshots from five of my videos from the series and had them printed onto PVC banners. LCB depot provided us with the budget for these banners after seeing the effectiveness of the faces on the front of Gazelli Art house. I think what I like most about this 'WSM' window series is that when you view them up close it is completely unclear what you are looking at, the pixelation of the image makes it look like some sort of strange fleshy abstract painting. You are only able to see the faces when you are looking at them from a distance - hence why the work wouldn't be suited to a 'hostile white space viewing of art.'

Gazelli Art House
Window 71
Lightbox Gallery

'Armchair Series [Chris and Madge]' [2017]

'Armchair series [Chris and Madge]' (2017) is part of an ongoing installation I would like to complete in collaboration with a Care Home. It will consist of a room full of armchairs with talking heads (television sets) all in (overlapping) conversations with one another. I have collected, and will continue to collect, a number of interviews with elderly people. For the interviews I have travelled to the participant's homes and filmed their heads sitting comfortably in a chair. The video footage has subsequently been edited and synced alongside the other relevant participant(s)' questions, The installation will involve intimate individual (human) portraits but as a whole the outcome will be rather chaotic and humorous as these televisions unashamedly talk over one another. 

In Candice Breitz' installation piece 'Diorama' (image shown on the right) nine monitors were placed in accordance to 'Dallas' the long-running American TV series. For the piece Breitz extracted and edited footage from cliffhanger episodes into 9 video loops, each one dedicated to a main character. By using the television monitors she is referencing the technological context of the show and highlighting the domesticity of the 'suburban' traumas faced in the show. The viewer is never offered relief of narrative development or closure (much like in the 'Armchair series') and is left to ponder their personal memories and social memories "shared as consumers of the global media."

'Chris and Madge' functions as a teaser/trailer for the future installation. Chris and Madge were interviewed separately; I asked them questions, they asked me questions, my questions were edited out whilst their questions were asked to one another in an endless loop of conversation. At times they talk over one another, which isn't too far from reality, and the televisions have been installed into the neck of the chairs so that the essence of two people talking is present within these domestic objects. 

The Artist Jordan Baseman looks a lot at first-person singular narratives and people talking about themselves and their experiences. He says "I interview people talking about themselves and I remove myself from the soundtrack in the hope that the work sounds like it's speaking directly to the audience." Unlike Baseman my interviews are designed so that they are talking to each other rather than a viewer but he is similarly trying to capture fleeting moments in a poignant way. He takes other peoples stories, chews them up and transforms them into something new. 


After collaborating with a number of elderly people with this ongoing projects I have been struck with how open a lot of the participants have been and how calm, reflective and slowed down their perspective on life is. Perhaps, for me, it has unpeeled our generations inability to stop. This piece aims to slow down the viewer and its asks them to listen to another point of view, invest in someone else's life for a few moments.

ARMCHAIR INSTALLATION [screenshot] interviews
Chris and Madge
Web folio - Arc titles
'The One about the Camel'
Screen Shot 2018-05-27 at 14.03.52
'Chris and Madge'
Screen Shot 2018-05-27 at 13.49.05

[Collaborating with the community]. 

Interviewing elderly people led me to extend into my community in Kent which extended into an elderly community in Wimbledon after I visited a number of Care homes, mainly Arthur House Care Home. I would like to finish this installation in collaboration with a Care Home and engage an older generation with the contemporary art world. The piece is also really adaptable in relation to public commissions etc. I am currently applying to a commission funded by The Geoffrye Museum who are looking for 'a filmmaker or photographer to create an AV installation which documents people who live in the museum's diverse local community in their homes". I will propose a version of the armchair installation. My installation 'GET IN' was inspired by an application to Sky Arts looking at 'What it means to be British", but I also love the idea of it being spread into the football community, I am currently looking into working alongside a football club to work on a public piece that would interact with the fans. I am also in contact with a number of Bingo gala media teams and would love to see the giant inflatable installation spreading itself across Bingo gala's up and down the country. (Above you can see some of my applications and proposals in relation to publicly funded projects.) 

Screen Shot 2017-01-11 at 15.48.32
Arthur Jafa
Rachel Rose

'GROUNDED' [2017]

'GROUNDED' (2017) is a fast-moving 'YouTube' style video compilation looking at the act of falling. This moving collage depicts an ongoing loop of impossible flight using appropriated footage (taken from parkour home videos, wrestling matches, athletic events, film scenes etc). One clip follows into the next so that the figure(s) blend into one another and move from one side of the screen to the other, growing gradually in scale, spinning upside down, towards the front of the screen and back into the distance. At times, as the shot is flipped in order to trace the previous one there is an overlapping of the two. As a man slowly dives into a pool the windows of a building fly past behind him.


When making this piece I had been viewing a lot of video art which looked at a similar blend between appropriated and personal footage. At the Vinyl Factory 'Infinite Mix' exhibition, Rachel Rose projected her video piece, 'Everything and More' onto a fabric screen against a window. You could see the London landscape behind as the projection alternated between opaque and transparent; this shifted the whole perspective of the piece. Rose's use of overlapping sound, music and narration created a muffled and other-worldly atmosphere. At the same venue, several months later I saw Arthur Jafa's 'Love is the Message, the Message is Death';  a 7 minute video viewed on the rooftop of the Store Studios, that featured a contemporary revisualisation of black American history. It converged found footage that traced African-American identity through an array of contemporary imagery set to Kanye West’s gospel-inspired hip-hop track, ‘Ultralight Beam’. From footage of civil rights leaders to helicopter views of the LA riots, from rappers to dancers to sports stars the piece sent me teetering through humour, horror, disgust, joy, pride and guilt. The video remained at an intense pitch throughout which kept me emotionally bound to what was in front of me. (click here for more on Arthur Jafa.)

Screen Shot 2018-05-27 at 13.49.05

'Raglan Road' [2016]

'Raglan Road' is one of the first pieces I made on the course and evolved from a domestic object based video installation into a split-screen video piece (see left).

Looking back at the conceptual development of my work on the course, the first few artworks were much more personal and autobiographical. The more recent works have reached outwards to a public space (rather than inwards) and I feel much more comfortable within this realm. 

The initial idea for 'Raglan Road' came to me in my sleep when I was away from my family working in Switzerland; I imagined my grandads head singing at the head of an armchair. This use of the armchair shifted my work into object-based installations and went on to inspire the armchair series ['Chris and Madge'] Because I was dealing with a portrait of a man in his home it felt like a natural progression to start collecting interviews from elderly people in their homes. It was also the first time I used a television to represent the head of a body and used other objects to represent the rest of the body. I went on to repeat this in the 'WSM' series with the television screen framing the faces of the weightlifters.  When I look back at many of my works they are attempting to acutely observe human behaviour with moving objects. 'Raglan Road' was still relying on the movement of the video to make the object seem alive. 

The finished split-screen video features two videos that have been edited so that the two men are singing in a constructed duet. The video on the right features my grandad, Arthur McGinn, and was shot in his home in his armchair. The video on the left is footage from a VCR recording of a 'Come West Along the Road' broadcast on Telifis Eirean. It features Luke Kelly from the Dubliners. Both men are singing 'Raglan Road' a poem by Patrick Kavanagh. The piece is undeniably a glance back at my Irish heritage and potentially politically and religiously loaded but to me it shows a powerful portrait of two men from a similar era and background singing in two completely different decades. A fusion between the past and the past. On reflection this artwork now holds a different resonance for me and I find it quite difficult to watch. For me, it represents love, faith, patience and contentment in a world full of chaos and restlessness.