2011, Oil on Linen, 90 x 168cm

People's Choice Eutick Memorial Still Life Award 2011

The intention with these paintings is not to make grand statements. But rather, to amuse, intrigue, entertain and provoke. I aimed for a process of unveiling whereby the viewer initially encounters the aesthetics of the overall picture, then upon closer inspection a secondary message is revealed, then with the combination of title and image deeper meanings emerge which trigger the opening chapters to an endless array of stories the viewer is invited to create.

So with this work, there are a variety of interpretations.

Rather like the butterfly with a life-span of just a few days, the destiny of these “animals” is not one of longevity. So who in their position wouldn’t, given the opportunity, make a break for it and try and enjoy a few hours of freedom? Perhaps this work speaks of the demonising of those who are different, those illegal aliens vilified on the altar of political expediency.

Or perhaps it is a representation of my favourite line of my favourite book, Peter Carey’s War Crimes: “I am an animal caught in the headlights of my dream”. I think we have all felt this as one time or another.

Perhaps it is something else entirely. You be the judge.