Self-portrait under the Lamp

Chair, desk, laptop, notebook, pen, coffee, mug, lamp
400 x 120 x 100cm

A desk is mounted on the wall, metres above the chair that accompanies it. On top of the desk are familiar adornments—a lamp, a laptop, a mug with coffee, a notebook and pen—all of which are the personal belongings of the artist. The desk, as a point of origin for new ideas, is elevated and put on display, becoming a stage for the efforts of the creator. It towers over the seat, leaving it’s user to face a bare wall.

After much contemplation of the value of an artist to a society in need, I have reconciled the drive to make art with a view of art as an engine of the evolution of culture. Viewed as such, the work takes on an essential importance and task at hand looms large. The bright gallery lights, no longer just supporting illusions of importance, start to resemble those in interrogation rooms.

It speaks of a failure to comprehend the importance of the task at hand, or otherwise a failure to rise to the occasion. The work in part a portrait of a society unable to reconcile itself with the challenges it faces; of a dislocation of the sense of self into incompatible parts (that that is and that which must be done); and of an absence or abandonment: like a sentinel who has deserted their post.