Since 2012 I’ve portrayed hand-drawn illustrations in geometric forms that have been influenced from something I find fascinating in the world; such as tribal symbols, ancient alphabets, symbols of belief and the beauty of the natural world.
I feel art should be aesthetically pleasing and also convey deeper thought.
For a few months, I kept riding past this huge, empty steel frame on the way to work and had been thinking about filling the space. I watched a new Keith Haring film and got really inspired and I hadn’t had an exhibition since last Summer. Therefore, I thought ‘fuck it’, and decided to hang something.
For a while, I had wanted to draw something about melanin. Every time I research anatomy I notice that humans are mostly only portrayed with caucasian skin. I find this so weird. It’s examples like this that erase black people and people of colour from society and I find that so problematic.
I wanted to be sensitive with how I approached this illustration. I didn’t want to be the white boy from England jumping onto the “trend” of BLM. I felt as if drawing a melanocyte, which is the cell that produces melanin, would be a good way for white folk to understand variations of skin colour and why. Melanocytes are melanin-producing neural crest-derived cells located in the bottom layer of the skin’s epidermis, the middle layer of the eye, the inner ear, vaginal epithelium, meninges, bones, and heart. Melanin is a dark pigment primarily responsible for skin colour.
Spray paint and pen on tarpaulin
THIS Gallery acknowledges that it is situated on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples–Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations.