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Citizens? - World

My works in this collection are about difficulties suffered by those caught up in conflict and forced migration. They show victims of conflict, hazards of crossing borders, the need to do that, and how governments and big business keep us under surveillance and create climate change, which drives migration.

Soldier and Child explores the ambiguities of soldiers' role in relation to children in warfare zones and how both are trapped.

Your Feet, Our Shoes was a response to a newspaper photo of victims of the Iraq war. (The background is not grey as in the image, but creamy white).

Stranded is a photo of a chance assembly of objects on my studio floor during my degree course at the University of Ulster.

Border Crossing was originally made as a comment on prehistoric bog bodies often being found at the frontiers of the small tribal kingdoms that existed then, suggesting they were victims of inter-tribal conflict, or were possibly being penalised and symbolically expelled for perceived violation of social norms. The work has come to resonate with similar attitudes towards migrants.

Lorry was also made initially as a response to the use of lorries during the Northern Ireland conflict, to transport paramilitaries, their victims, weapons and smuggled goods. It shows a lorry at night on the road past Belinda Loftus’s house. It too has taken on another meaning due to the smuggling of migrants in lorries.

Escaping surveillance shows eels wriggling through a barrier created by an enlarged Amazon bar-code. Eels are known to migrate from Europe to the Sargasso Sea to breed, but have displayed a remarkable ability to shed electronic tags monitoring their journey. They are also shape-shifters, changing their appearances three times during their lives. Bar codes can be viewed as useful to businesses, but are a means of snooping on our shopping habits. Amazon is on record as having made warehouse staff wear electronic wrist tags to allow monitoring of their work rate.

Overdrawn and Consumer Society are both critiques of the way consumption in the developed world fuel climate emissions. Overdrawn and Shower of Black Gold are part of a series made on the stock market page of the Financial Times, as a response to the role of fossil fuel and finance bodies in generating climate change, which fuels severe weather conditions, food shortages, poverty, starvation, and conflict, all triggering migration. Visually, Shower of Black Gold draws on paintings by Titian and others that use a shower of gold to symbolise the rape of Danae by the Greek god Zeus. Further works challenging the adverse effects of fossil fuel companies and financial institutions can be found in the Financial Climate collection.

Breaking Free was inspired by the following lines in a poem by the 13th century Persian mystic and philosopher Rumi:

It is a challenge to the bar-codes that form part of our constant surveillance by governments and businesses. Further works inspired by Rumi are in the Rumi collection.

Faulty Algorithm is a challenge to the algorithms employed by governments and businesses when dealing with us.