3 bodies of work were created during 2020-22. ‘ One way special (2 for 1), The retreat to England (Deep England)’ and ‘Another piece of red’

These deconstructions of the UK and USA flag are grouped together in differing configurations of three panels. In the Post-Brexit, Post Trump world, they reflect upon issues of cultural and political dominance being predominately “one way” and questions the validity of the bland “Special Relationship” label. As in many “relationships” everyone is looking for a deal(you can guess who’ll come out “worse” of that little negotiation!), and in a future post Brexit and Coronavirus world.

The retreat to England, deep England This body of work was sparked by my reading writer Jonathan Coe’s (@jonathancoewriter) excellent novel ‘ Middle England’ . Its narrative running throughout dovetailed very much with my own thoughts of how conservative ( with a small c) society retreated back into the past and a world of values they are rooted in . This ofcourse is how our Government and much of the media try to wrap everything up within the flag and a lost world that passes these generations and types of people by. The title is a nod to George Orwell’s 1940 essay ‘ England your England’ and – former PM – John Major’s much lampooned 1993 Conservative Party conference speech . This short film shows not only the full series of artworks, it also documents the development of the concepts and the making of the works in development.

‘Another piece of Red’ is a phrase that was used to describe old school maps of the world from the Victorian Era that indicated in red the parts of the British Empire (actually it was often shaded in pink , but red better serves the purposes of other concepts behind these works and besides it was the title of a Boomtown Rats song from the early 80’s I remember) . The idea of the shading was to give working class children a sense of the status of Britain’s imperialism and “power” in the world, to stop them questioning the hierarchy of privilege Taken in the modern context , the level of misdirection that the Tory Government currently puts in goes into the so called ‘ Culture wars’ is relentless.Where fake outrage is all over the media regarding the prospect of Old imperialist statues being removed / damaged , black dance groups and footballers taking the knee in solidarity to BLM and the re packaging and irony of food packaging, forms a back drop to current identity and political crisis that the various parts of the UK faces in the aftermath and implementation of Brexit. The colours of the Union flag may be Red, White & Blue , but in reality ( and in the eyes of many non English citizens) it’s really only various shades of red , and it’s obvious that they, quite rightly, feel outsiders in their own nation and will eventually , I’m sure , see a break up of the United Kingdom as this deception can only go on for so long . These main flag part of these pieces were originally made as Lino prints @lawrenceprintmaking club in Hove (thanks @georgia_foxglove For assistance ) over the Spring/Summer of 2021 on top of xerox transfer of images , some of which are outlined above , the red triangular parts use various types of tissue/ hand made paper and acetate were collaged on later .

One way special 2 for1- Flag series