BUT THAT OTHER MAN IS SMILING
Pictures published in newspapers were the provocation for this body of work. No matter what the abuse, just like the Nazis, Abu Ghraib prison abusers smile for the camera. “But that other man is smiling, Mummy”, was the observation of the artist’s young son. This, combined with her reading that over 7,000 prisoners were held at Abu Ghraib, led to work on a subject that would not go away. From figurative towards abstraction is the artist’s way of exploring her own response to what continues to happen to these prisoners. At the centre of the exhibition is a new work, ask for an appropriate size piece at the time of need, made in response to reports of conditions at Guantanamo Bay. The painting, reported conversation, was made after hearing tapes on the radio of a conversation between a Guantanamo Bay detainee and a court official – “Are your shackles too tight?” “After three years I’m used to them”. This month marks five years since detainees were first held at Guantanamo Bay. These pieces reflect a grim realisation that none of this is an aberration.