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, elevated and on display, becomes a stage or a pedestal presenting the efforts of the creator. It towers over the seat of the user, who is left facing a bare wall. 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 is 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.


©2019 Dale Lawrence