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Adam
5ftx3ft4in
(click on image for enlargement) 
 
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Adam is a tapestry made from: oil paint, flyers, beer mats, clothing, lubricant rappers, drink labels, club adverts and various fabrics.

The model was chosen to reflect how some men have used Canal Street to 'Cruz'.  The identity of the man is hidden in shadow, his face is anonymous as he leans against a wall looking out at the viewer, waiting. The character’s facial features are distorted, he could appear as a sexual predator or someone’s prey. On the left hand side of the image there are red ribbons ironically referring to the risks and dangers of 'cruzing'.  On the right side of the image the man leans on a wall covered in graffiti.  These slogans were taken from findings in public toilets, descriptions written or scratched onto the inside of cubicles.  Some of these toilets will have been a place for men to privately explore their sexuality.
The flesh is painted in oil paint, which will eventually break down the material; as though the body is slowly deteriorating.  The figure appears hollow and translucent while emitting a yearning quality. The
The tapestry suggests a superficial and hedonistic lifestyle.  Showing a relationship between excitement, sex and danger.   

 
Bound 2 U 
5ft2inx4ft2in
(click on image for enlargement) 

This piece is hand woven out of denim, belts, condoms, bondage tape, feathers, chains, flyers, glitter, and other found objects, which I collected down Canal Street, the gay village in Manchester.

The piece is deliberately chaotic like a rush of emotions.  Entwined are tokens I have collected on Canal Street.
The image is supposed to be overwhelming and dominating when the viewer is stood in front of it.  This allows the viewer to get lost and absorbed by the built up layers, bound together.  Some strands are tightly knotted together, aggressively pulled, twisted and contorted whilst others are interlaced loosely.
  I want people to allow themselves to be drawn into these feelings and form their own relationship with the work.  I aim to join a relationship between the physical and emotional nuances.

 

Blue Angels
Each piece is 3Ft 8 inches created using mixed media and found objects
(click on image for enlargement) 

There phallic spears stand in the shape of an equilateral triangle. The three phallic spears have various different found objects wrapped and bound into their surface. The audience are encourage to walk around the three totems to explore the work and discover the collection of objects which have been found and taken from Canal Street in Manchester UK.
The piece aims to highlight some of the abandoned remains of the street as a historic shrine. I hope to encourage a dialogue, looking at the community Canal Street serves and the interaction of those who walk through the streets themselves. There is a tension in the values and pride people have for this microcosm and interested in how others perceive the lifestyle.
 
 
 
The Emperor’s Achilles’ heel
4ftx 4ft 6 inches
towelling, thread, spray-paint, bitumen, acrylic, checked material.
(click image for an enlargement) 
The reclining figure is a representation of The Dying Achilles- a marble statute by the German sculptor Ernest Herder, commissioned by Empress Elizabeth of Austria in 1884. It reflected her fascination for Greek culture. She wrote:
‘He represents the Greek spirit, the beauty of the land…’ and is ‘… as strong as proud and obstinate as a Greek mountain.’ Homer’s lliad describes Achilles as the warrior who both fought with and loved Patroclus, his best friend and comrade.
I discovered the statue at the Archilleio summer palace in Gastouri, Corfu, which was acquired by the German Emperor Wilhelm II upon the death of Elizabeth in 1908. The dying Achilles lies semi-recumbent, his heel pierced by an arrow that will eventually kill him. His expression is ambiguous; he appeared pained or could be interpreted as in state of climax and release. The sculpture could be expressing his soul passing; however the figure as a whole appears sexualised.
I noted that the date if acquisition coincided with the end of the notorious homosexual trials involving high-ranking army officers, politicians and at the centre it all- the Kaiser himself. It seemed fascinating that the acquisition of the palace coincided with the end of these trials and it raised the question of why.
It may have been an idyllic, hidden, cliff-top retreat with beautiful gardens by the sea however it seems a strange choice given the circumstances of the trials themselves which implicated Wilhelm and placed him directly with the accused. The worst interpretation was put upon his male-only hunting parties and long weekends. The stress of the scandal in 1908, caused many of those involved to fall ill, so on the one hand it can be seen as purely an escape but upon seeing it in reality, it is transparently a utopian gay retreat which would have been hidden away from the prying eyes of both journalists and general German public yet still accessible to the cognoscenti. In hindsight this aspect of Kaiser’s lifestyle is one that, although it had huge ramifications for consequent political events, is one that is hardly known and rarely discussed, even now.
Bringing the hidden history back to the surface, exposing events which have been whitewashed by the concerted efforts of partisan historians, and tourist boards who have chosen to ignore the clues that are so gloriously apparent at Palace of Achilleio. It is the overt dissonance between the public war-mongering, philistine and the private lover of Greek art and beauty that strikes one forcibly at the palace. The dichotomy between the pure, soft, white towelling against the thick viscosity of the bitumen with its connotations of staining darkness and sticky sordidness is emphasized by the use of binding that is a visual metaphor of social and sexual constraints imposed by state and society.
The viewer is left wondering about the subtle semiotics of which unveil the truth behind the public figure-what these conveyed during his lifetime and the contrast with what we perceive from them today.


Same-Sex Marriage Quilt
 4m x 3.5m
The Same-Sex Marriage Quilt was a community quilt project which celebrates the 396 Members of Parliament (MPs) that voted in favour of same sex marriage bill 2013. The quilt is a political map with all 650 MPs constituencies.  I worked with a range of venues and groups to get the public involved in the project. These include People's History Museum, LGBT Youth North West, Museum of Liverpool, FACT, The 1st National Festival of LGBT History, Homotopia, Unity Theatre and Schools Out. 

I worked with different groups to get the public to decorate hand drawn portraits of the 396 MPs that voted in support of the same sex marriage bill. The portraits have been collected together to form a political map of the UK and all the MPs constituencies. There were also 254 MPs that did not vote for the bill, for those gaps in the map people were asked to write messages of hope towards a more equal and accepting future. 

The project was made possible through successfully competing against 12 finalists for one of three
mirco-residencies with People's History Museum in 2014. The project continued being supported through Homotopia's artist development scheme Queercore. During Homtopia’s 2014 Festival Unity theatre and Museum of Liverpool hosted sessions for the public to decorate the hand drawn images. The project engaged with community groups until all 396 contributions were decorated. From design to construction the project took two years to create.


Liverpool Pride 
2m x 1m
I was one of four commissioned works for Liverpool Pride. I had the absolute pleasure of working with the Alternative Fashion Festival (Alt Fest). They are a body positive festival; they showcase the unique, the unusual, the beautiful; highlighting wonderfully diverse subcultures across Liverpool and Merseyside to ultimately create social change around prejudice & hate crimes you can learn more about them here. I was hired to consult with the group to help them create and execute their own design. They were a really recreative bunch and had heaps of great ideas which got distilled into a finale design. I have a video which goes through what we did which you can see below:

#Bookdraw
Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit
30cm x 30cm
This is the first piece I have created into a textile work from an ongoing series called #Bookdraw. This is an online video project which encourages people to read more queer fiction. I create video reviews of the novels and create images in relation to the stories. I turned this particular image into a textile work which when into a group show called Provocations by In Collaboration With in Blackpool. You can watch the video about the exhibition here: