Congratulations on winning Zealous Stories: Painting! Your works explore innocence, freedom, friendship, and family through expressive oil paintings. Where did the inspiration come from for these pieces?
I started working with vintage photos as a way to be able to paint figures and faces that have an emotive, nostalgic charge. I am influenced by the carefree and happy times gone past whilst we have been in the grip of the pandemic, which has accelerated our isolation and further dramatic changes of society. Imagine piling on a sofa with a group of friends now! It’s a sad sense of longing for the past, however sometimes we know a photograph does not tell the whole story, and in some of my paintings I hope to convey a tension or darkness that seemingly happy shots of families and friends are concealing just beneath the surface. We can’t trust nostalgia….