Relics explores the evolution of collective memory and the function of public monuments in modern society.
As members of communities, our relationship with statues and monuments is in a constant state of change due to the ever evolving nature of society. In recent years, there has been a shift towards moral accountability and a re-examination of the achievements of memorialised and iconized figures. Specifically, former colonisers and forgotten diplomats have had their elevated status’ questioned - a process that has been fused with social justice movements, and simultaneous to the COVID19 pandemic.
Through painting, the principles of bricolage are used to collate academic research and imagery to create alternative representations. For ‘Relics’ this is depicted through ambiguous museum interiors and indistinct landscape spaces, where motifs from different contexts and time periods are juxtaposed together. COVID Hazmat-suit wearing figures are ‘sanitising’ history, and are set against both ancient and modern monuments removed from their usual contexts, and non-indigenous fauna occupy public statues. By presenting these motifs together, the work encourages the audience to question how representing these ideas in new contexts can serve to educate us, rather than conceal the unpleasant facts and historical narratives that no longer serve us.