We are the Walrus is a continuation of the industrial series, and an exploration into semi-abstraction. The development of this piece was interesting, as the original sketches were made on my new Ipad using ArtRage. I have always been happy to embrace new technology when I feel it has passed beyond the stage of glorified toy, and by 2012 there appeared to be sufficient productive and creative apps available to justify buying the new model when it came out in Feb 2012. I actually brought a pair, one being for my Daughters 18th, and had to hide the fact I had one from her for a month. I have found it an invaluable tool, both for initial sketching (I use ArtRage because it has a palette knife tool) and also for testing ideas by importing photos of work into the app, and experimenting with compositional and colour elements. This has saved a lot of paintings from mistakes, because whilst of course it is easy enough to overpaint, I also like to utilise canvas textures in my work, and the white base paint approach I use provides a lot of luminosity.
Given that the focus of the work is on consumption and greed, I do appreciate the huge irony involved in the use of the iPad as a tool. It is easy, in the developed west, to recognise the cost of consumerism, both ecological and human. I am not easy that my access to technology results in the depletion of rare earths that may have a better use, and in the wellbeing of young people in South East Asia developing premature blindness as a result of their work in producing the circuit boards for smart phones and tablets. However, this does not mean that I am arrogant enough to suggest to the rest of the worlds population that they should not have these things because we have discovered that they’re not that good for us. Rather make use of them to help spread information and improve cross continental communication, to help both make people aware of the experiences of others, and also underline how, fundamentally, in the main all 7 billion of us are pretty much the same, with the same fears, delights, humanity and desires. It is for this that the internet and social media are designed, and without our mobile devices we couldn’t share with and experience the realities of others.