Dreams of Tomorrow & Yesterday is part of a new series of narrative portraits which places street performers against an urban backdrop where an inner world of hopes, fears and dreams are manifested in graffiti, street signage and textures.
Street performers have always fascinated me with their ability to conjure a crowd from nowhere and a stage from nothing. With no guarantee of payment, their performance is given on trust, offered up with as much as they can muster in the hope that the general public will reciprocate in kind. It is the ultimate in theatrical meritocracy. Over the years there are certain individuals that have stood out for me with their careful construction of character, costume, makeup and sense of story which convey often poignant references to human nature and experience. I am now finally attempting to put these ideas down on canvas beginning with Dreams of Tomorrow and Yesterday.
I first encountered the street mime from this painting at the Edinburgh Festival some years ago and have been haunted by the poetry of her expression ever since. She conjures for me all sorts of references both personal and universal. In the painting I have tried to do justice to the way she conveyed, for me, a blend of hope, wisdom, love and truth; a fairy godmother of sorts and a messenger of self-belief.
It is no easy thing choosing to pursue the path of an artist, in whichever field it may be. Self doubt is a constant companion, which both beats and drives one forward. With this painting i have tried to remind myself that kindness and encouragement are also vital for growth and self-development.
Work is now underway on 3 new Urban Narrative compositions (scroll down for a glimpse of works in progress) which weave together various ideas that i hope will trigger, for those looking, many a story.