Hard Rubbish – Natura Morta 2007-2011
Hard Rubbish is a series of paintings that commemorates hard rubbish day when discarded objects, furniture and bric-a-brac sit under or between trees like items laid out for a street market. Before the heavy council trucks come to pick up this detritus of suburbia, people mill around hoping to find something of value. There is a festive bazaar-like atmosphere in the usually quiet streets. The sidewalks depicted in Hard Rubbish are directly outside the artist’s home. The paintings play with lives led by the people in the houses from which the rubbish comes, lives that take on some of the aspects of a suburban soap opera: fashion through rubbish, the morning after the night before, sin and matrimony. The computer and its accompanying festive material refers to the morning after an office party, a vacuum cleaner stands alert, suspicious of and avoiding the Greek church behind it, a mattress rests against a tree after a hard night out, a comfortable married pair of old kitchen chairs have been displaced. The artist lives in a house, which once belonged to his grandparents, and both it and its contents hold childhood memories that have directed his interest in keeping objects alive in paint.
In a sense hard rubbish is not a series about depicting dead wasted objects from the past but like the tradition of some natura morta is about printing them back to life.