During my time studying for my fine art degree in Canterbury, I flitted from painting to video art to sculpture to text-based and back again. This photo is from my final exhibition and shows the culmination of my third year project, entitled ‘Songs From The Revolution’. I used the ‘cut-ups’ method to create poetry out of newspaper headlines and advertising slogans, spending months holed up in the art rooms, surrounded by stacks of papers and magazines, sifting through them with glue-covered fingers, searching for interesting and powerful phrases to form into stanzas. Having selected my favourite for the exhibition, I set about building a 16 by 8 foot billboard on which to showcase it, and borrowed the Clear Channel advertising company logo for authenticity! Here’s the pretentious art blurb from the exhibition to fully explain the work:
Songs From The Revolution
In our modern world, we assume our media centres have our best interests at heart. We assume they report only the fair, unbiased truth and that their only agenda is to keep us happy, healthy, and above all, safe. We therefore accept news of terrorism, crime and threats to our personal safety at gospel, and double lock our doors at night, steadfastedly avoid eye contact with strangers, and consider all those who look different to be a menace, against which we must defend our way of life at all costs.
Through Songs from the Revolution, I have hoped to fight against this percieved dystopian horror with the appropriation of the terror-inducing, hate-mongering newspaper headlines and advertising slogans; transforming them into something positive, beautiful and above all, full of hope. Addressing current affairs and exploring imaginary landscapes alike, these poems are journeys of opitimism and love, and therefore quite the antithesis of their original sources.