A3: Weekly Update 11th-17th May

The NIAMH project isn’t looking good, there have been some changes in the management and I have been told of a slight ‘crisis’ meaning that, although they are still interested in the project they may not be able to commit to it in the time frame given to me in August. This is unfortunate but I still have Studio 11. Although I have had no wordbook on the specific day it is still likely that it will go ahead and should have conformation of this by the end of the week.

Whilst the delay is holding me back slightly I now have more time to paint. Im looking at the possibility of splitting my work into two parts for the exhibition, the sex face portraits and the Rorschach images. It looks like I could have a large area to myself as the other artists work in smaller scale. I have finished a painting that diverges slightly form my previous work yet still maintains a similar DNA.

`It begins… The founding of the Free Presbyterian Church’

The painting is taken from an old photograph of the founding of the Free Presbyterian church of Ulster. I have borrowed similar blurring techniques used by Gerhard Richter in order to maintain a photographic quality. A concern is that in depicting the founders, their leader being the late Rev Ian Paisley, I have already subjected one side to more ridicule than the other, in this case being protestant unionists. My main beef however is with the Free Presbyterian church however as opposed to Unionism and most certainly not Protestantism. I was questioned why I had chosen to paint this subject matter rather than the Catholic church. My reason is simple, I come from a mixed background and although I was raised under no particular religion (and am now atheist) I lived most of my life in a protestant area and went to a protestant primary school. I learn that, growing up in this protestant, unionist society, there is an unusual lack of questioning of the local religious leaders. I decided to research into the Free Presbyterian Church to find out why they yield so much power and yet they have such a small following.

The above paintings are the latest of the NI politicians coitus series, I have showed the first pintings to a few people and have had a good reception so far. I want to make as many a possible. Im thinking about the title of the series and feel using a derivative of the perforative term Realpolitik, ‘NI Politik….Coitus’ perhaps. I just don’t want to actually have the term ‘sex face’ in there, it looks ridiculous. So something modest like the word coitus may work. It makes you double check the title and then when you see the pictures the response should hopefully be ‘ah right I see….very good’.

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