This body of work originated with the aim of celebrating family and its importance within my life. The outbreak of Covid-19 and my subsequent fears for the lives and health of loved ones was a stark reminder of what family means for me – love, support and value. I have been very fortunate to have grown up in a close and loving environment and I wanted this project to celebrate the relationships within my family, particularly those of my grandparents and parents. The theme of love was very important to me and so I decided to use wedding photos as the basis of my project. To further develop this theme, I drew upon Gustav Klimt’s ‘The Kiss’ by foregrounding the figures in my own paintings with a backdrop of similar patterns and colours. The clear adoration of the lovers in ‘The Kiss’ seemed to reflect the feelings of love and affection captured in the wedding photographs of my parents and grandparents.
A key feature of this work is the contrast between the stencil-style of the figures and the vibrant, patterned backgrounds. I created this contrast to emphasise that the figures are the sole focus of the work; the background is devoid of complications and hidden meanings, it has purely been designed to highlight the couple and their love. The combination of the stencil-style figures and colourful backgrounds also has a glamourizing effect, evoking ideas and images of Hollywood icons. For me, this effect was perfect for emphasising the sense that the love demonstrated in my family’s wedding photos was something special and distinctive.
This project has allowed me to reflect on the founding relationships within my family and honour the memory of these key moments.