Everything I tackle is from a similar perspective – something typical, but from an unusual or unexpected angle. From an aesthetic point of view, there’s a lot of interest in this piece when you look at the contrast of flesh, clothes and technology. The coldness of the cell phone, the warmth of the chair and the life in the flesh. For an artist, these are exciting and engaging things and it is my challenge to represent them in a way that maintains the excitement I had when I first saw them.
The interesting composition of this piece has a narrative to it. It isn’t a usual shoulder mounted perspective. It is a top down shot of someone sleeping, but not in a traditional way or place either. The subject, in this instance, my son Jonathan, sleeps uncomfortably in a chair. There’s an element of familiarity – we’ve all been there – having woken in a weird position after falling asleep at school, work or home. It’s a typical day nap. But there’s also a sense of tension between the healing nature of sleep and anxiety. Even in this restful state, at any moment, he could be called to action or miss a communication from the device beside him and this creates an interesting contrast for me.
This piece was accepted into the second selection of the BP National Portrait Award 2015.
Description: Jonathan sleeping
Medium: Oil on canvas