The Irish vote 22.05.2015 - works on paper and canvas

What this work is about
This body of work is concerned with the huge step forward towards equality that happened on 22 May 2015 when the Irish voted to legalise same-sex marriage and reject the old and out-of-date views of the Catholic Church. This vote will change lives. Gay people have moved, from having the pain inflicted by their love being treated differently under the law, to being equal citizens. It has been a long and hard journey but this significant "yes" to gay marriage in Ireland shows that dignity and human rights can triumph over hate, bigotry and fear. The artworks in this series celebrate this achievement and capture the transformation that has taken place over time. They are heavily worked with layers of paint, cut back in places to reveal the pain of what lies beneath, and covered over in other places to mask that pain. But what is important is the hope for the future; the paintings strive to capture the emotion and dynamics, social, religious and political, that led to such a significant "yes" to gay marriage in Ireland.

Expanding the theme
This series is also concerned with the way in which we can make the world a better place - how do you do that? - By championing Equality so that people belong. The less Isolation and Discrimination in the world, the less trouble there will be.

The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.
Martin Luther King Jr.

I have used collage on a number of these artworks, as the medium lends itself to these issues. Barriers can be physically created - material (symbolically the gay flag in some places) can be cut and used to cover over what has been hidden for centuries.
The works on paper also use thick oil, spray-paint and ink which create a rich and sensual texture. The artworks are scored with marks to suggest memories of pain inflicted, while the paint and rough surfaces, built up layer on layer, suggest time, hidden things, depth of relationships and our relationship to the world we live in.


What these works are about
The artwork entitled By Your Side is concerned with the sense of community and outpouring of humanity, in Orlando USA, that followed in the wake of the shocking murder of 49 people in the gay nightclub ‘Pulse’ on June 12th 2016. It chimes with the Stonewall #ByYourSide Campaign that offers solidarity to LGBTQ people in Britain and abroad and encourages people to stand together to overcome hate, so that everyone, everywhere, can be free to be themselves. The artwork has been used to create the brand indenty for the Ozanne Foundation as well the cover design 'Just Love: A journey of self-acceptance' by Jane Ozanne.

Picking up this theme, the Love Wins series focuses on the power of love, when people stand together against adversity.