How to Spend It – I, II, III & IV, mixed media collage (canvas, aerosol paint, magazine cuttings, acrylic gel (hand-applied)), 2015/16 –
Over Easter 2008, as part of an art college module looking at new ways of drawing, I made two large mixed media collages but was not able to take my experiments further at that time. However, in the summer of 2015, I decided to make some new work picking up on both the media used and the underlying themes of glamour, ostentatious / trophy consumerism, and label fetishism.
The How to Spend It (HTSI) magazine comes out fortnightly as part of the Saturday Financial Times. When Colonel Gaddafi was toppled from power and people entered his palace there were piles of HTSIs around the place. I have taken cuttings from various issues, combined them with aerosol paint / graffiti and fly-posting to transform what was consumerist propaganda into an anti-consumerism message.
During my research for these pieces I realized that not only were such handbags, watches, jewellery and shoes bought in order to be used (and thus to show just how rich their owners were) but that they were also seen as investments (often containing precious metal and/or diamonds or other precious stones). It really does beg the question of “just how much can you spend on a ………..?” and the answer, literally, is millions!
The collages will be part of a curated show titled Transformations at Hastings Arts Forum, St Leonards (3 to 15 May).