Tuesday, 8 November 2011
Wednesday, 31 August 2011
Monday, 29 August 2011
Friday, 22 April 2011
Tuesday, 19 April 2011
oil painting 60 x 70cm
This painting came from reading about the murder of David Kato, a LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transexual) rights activist in Uganda on 26th January this year.
I was shocked to read how openly homophobic newspapers and politicians are in Uganda. The Rolling Stone is a tabloid newspaper which has printed Ugandan homosexuals' names, photographs and addresses with a call for the named people to be hanged.
Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda and is punishable by incarceration for up to 14 years. In October 2009 MP David Bahati submitted a bill that asked for the death penalty 'for people who have previous convictions, are HIV-positive, or engage in same sex acts with people under 18 byears of age' (wikipedia). A motion to introduce this bill was passed, but due to international pressure a revision was made, and it remains under discussion in parliament as of February 2011.
The painting is composed from stills from a really good 3 minute video on you tube about this subject:
and also from some images from the net of David Kato and the offending newspaper articles. The title is a quote from the above mentioned film. It was said by the man in the centre of the painting whilst speaking about whether he would lie about his sexuality to save his life. I was moved by his bravery and resolve to never lie about who he is.
I wanted to show how overlooked lesbians seem to be in discussions about about gay rights in Uganda by having 2 barely visible women placed at the top centre of the painting.
Monday, 14 March 2011
Thursday, 10 March 2011
Oil paintings on board, 60 x 50 cm and 30 x 40 cm.
This image was inspired by an article that I read in the Observer on 6th Feb 2011 about a woman forced to come to England to work as a prostitute.
Marinela (painted above) spoke of her horrible experience of rape, beatings and death threats in a Manchester brothel called the Shangri-La (also painted above). Marinela was released from this life after a police raid and an investigation proved her to be an innocent victim.
The two men who trafficked her to England from Romania have received the longest sentence for trafficking in UK history, 27 years combined. However the Shangri-La has re-opened under the name of Infinity with the same telephone number, and its girls can be seen advertised online.
It is hard to know how many trafficked people are working as prostitutes in the UK, but charities believe it to be much higher than is officially recognised. An investigation last year by senior police officers identified almost 5,890 venues used illegally for paid sex in England and Wales.
I hope my paintings highlight that although the buildings may look innocent from the outside, you can never know who is inside and what they are going through. I hope the police go into these buildings more to find out what goes on inside them.
50 x 60cm oil painting on board
Dr Hawa Abdi set up a one-room clinic on family land in 1983 which has grown to become a hospital with an 800 pupil school and adult education centre.
Hawa Abdi Hospital has become a refuge for people fleeing from the civil war in Somalia. 90,00 people live in huts made out of plastic sheeting and sticks set up around the hospital as it is considered one of the few safe places in Southern Somalia.
She has been held at gunpoint by one of Somalia's more feared militant groups, she said " I'm not leaving my hospital... I told them, 'if I die, I will die with my people and my dignity.'"
The above information came from The New York Times on 6th Feb 2011.