When analysing the internal portrayals of my subjects I am able to take a multidisciplinary approach and refer to various formal elements. I have used plants to explore the visual and tactile elements of pattern, texture, colour, and tone and relate them to my subjects. The external portraits investigate line, form and space. In this way I have adopted a multidisciplinary approach to my work and have used digital video in a painterly way. .
I researched elements of formal portraiture by obtaining interviews with artists from the National Portrait Gallery and by viewing works. I researched digital portraiture such as Burson's She with He', & He with She' which morphs male and female artists. I also researched more textural approaches and was particularly interested in The Skin Series' by Elizabeth Ingraham, which is a series of constructed sewn skins' that relates to issues of identity.
I compared the historical portraits which conveyed wealth and status to more expressive and emotive works by contemporary artists. After researching I decided that although my works are in effect contemporary portraits, they have more common aims with documentary style photography and video art than portraiture as such. However, the colour and texture of painted portraits inspired me to take a painterly approach to the visual aspects of the work.
My portraits offer a social commentary on families, relationships, identity and life in Britain, for ordinary people. In this respect, I found that they had more in common with the art of Gillian Wearing and the honest/open approach of Tracey Emin. To some degree they can be assessed on whether the viewer can relate to them easily.
The portraits are open to interpretation by the viewer, but I acknowledge my position as artist within the work. I realize that through my choices of edits and representations I will impose my own bias on the piece. The work will reveal something of my relationship with the subject and will be an expression of my cultural and political beliefs.