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
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485 Main Street
Vancouver, BC V6A 2T7 Canada
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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.