I’m proud to announce that my quirky painting ‘Norman’ has been selected for this year’s Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.
Norman hides in plain sight. People walk past him and don’t realise who he is or what he’s been through. But when people see him, he reveals his secrets. He shows the fragility trapped behind his hard, masculine, weathered exterior. Is he just a workhorse, a utilitarian object or do his battered ribs show the life he’s led and survived? A badge of honour. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Once discovered, Norman has stories to tell from all that he has learnt, all that he has seen as a fly on the wall whilst the world acts out oblivious….
This year’s theme of colour devised by Michael Craig Martin gives the exhibition a joyful atmosphere. Perhaps some of the works compete against their colourful backgrounds but I like the invigorated atmosphere of the show.
I like how my almost monochromatic painting sits rather surreally against the sky blue walls of the Lecture Room. When I showed it in Turps Gallery for our interim show, I displayed it incredibly subtly, near the toilet door, and very low. It was tucked way below one of the ventilation grilles that inspired it. Many people didn’t notice it as a work on display but I was playing with observation and realisation.
I’m thrilled that it’s been placed so prominently in the Royal Academy and given such space in a generally jam packed salon hang! That the audacious humour of the piece was appreciated and for it to be hung with such prominence in such an establishment is an honour and a delight.
If you can’t make it along to the exhibition, then you can see everything in the exhibition on the new browsing feature on the RA website. You can find my work by it’s catalogue number 1029.