Made in China

Made in China

Introduced in 1813, Spode's Chinaware pattern is renown for being one of the world's first mass produced designs. The original design illustrates a tranquil and iconic depiction of China (during the Qing dynasty). Fast forward 200 years, and our depiction of China is far from such an idyllic place.

'Made in China' felt rather fitting as a name for this piece. I wanted to use this iconic plate design to create a new narrative of China in context to modern globalization. Subtly replacing the landscape where the scene tells the story of how factories now replace shrines, humble fisherman and their boats replaced by mass export, blossom trees vanished and replaced by pollution and dotted throughout, the emergence of environmental devastation begins to appear. Weaving into this tapestry of detail you can see some familiar brands, such as Apple, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger all symbolic of designed goods made in China. 

Continue reading

Rich Enough to be Batman?

Rich Enough to be Batman?

This is the question that inspired “Rich Enough to be Batman”, a print that has become a best seller. The print depicting the Queen wearing a Batman mask, provokes a pressing question about wealth and social contribution. If you had enough money would you become Batman and use your money to fight crime and protect the vulnerable? Or would you splash out on expensive things for your own pleasure?

The idea came about when reading the Sunday Times Rich List that is published annually. I’ve always questioned the purpose of this. Is it for everyone to collectively celebrate the success of the richest 100 people worldwide, or simply to rub our noses in the fact about how far behind the rest of us are from having such wealth.

These days, it seems you can’t open a newspaper or turn on a TV without being bombarded by news involving exploitation of wealth. In recent weeks, the headlines have been dominated by the collapse of BHS and how Phillip Green (net worth £3.6Bn) has been accused to ciphering money out before its collapse. And about how Mike Ashley (net worth US$6Bn) has been refusing to pay his staff minimum wage while he goes on spending sprees buying mansion, super yachts and jet planes. 

Of course not all billionaires are self-serving - Bill and Melinda Gates (net wealth US$78.5) are well know for their philanthropy and good deeds. Mark Zuckerberg and his wife recently announced they would give the majority of their wealth over the course of their lives to "advancing human potential and promoting equality". 

 In a world where wealth is become concentrated into the hands of a ultra rich elite though, the question remains: how rich do you need to be before you become Batman?

See the full Rich Enough to be Batman collection here.

Continue reading

Back in the studio to finalise "In Brands we Trust"

Back in the studio to finalise "In Brands we Trust"

It's been a thrill to work with Jealous Studios this week on my latest print "In Brands we Trust". The idea for this print has been sitting around in my studio for half a year not knowing quite what to do with it. But finally it's come together - and I'm excited to see it printed large (594 x 841mm / 23.4 x 33.1 in).

The idea for the print was to create a mock idol by galvanising a Malibu Barbie figure with the Virgin Mary. Brands have such a profound impact on our daily lives it's raises the question if religious faith can compete.

Continue reading