Only a slight exaggeration…

A few examples from my visual research for ‘On British Youth’.  These are cut from UK newspapers, found on the internet or seen on documentaries.

Some of these images may be considered disturbing.

"One Sick Puppy", 2009.

'Trouble' the cat, after being shot with a foot long crossbow bolt by drunk teenager Chloe O'Connor. Image Daily Telegraph.


"Living Doll", 2009.

Still from "Baby Beauty Queen" - BBC documentary, 2009.

Still from "Baby Beauty Queen", BBC documentary, 2009.

"High Fashion", 2010.

Some of the heels available on the UK high street in sized small enough for 8 year olds. Image courtesy The Guardian April 2010.


"The Postcode Gang", 2009

Channel 5 piece on Postcode Gangs, March 2007.

Known Postcode Gang territories in Hackney. (The captioned blue area represents the gang territory closest to where I live). Image courtesy of "Google Maps" and "Gangs of London".

"We Run T(h)ingz" - Trowbridge Estate gang graffiti. Image "Gangs of London".

Gangs of London

These ‘collages’ are a meld of vintage illustrations that I have subversively redrawn to include topical subjects.  This draws a direct comparison between a perceived ‘then’, and a vision of ‘now’.  Some images require a lot of work, some with only one or two changes are given an entirely different meaning.  Making this work relies on finding the correct image to manipulate in the first place.  Using something pre-existing that is so indicative of a particular era in history lends the work a certain depth.  I try to remain impartial but much of the reference material from the media is fairly biased towards the negative.  For this reason the media cannot be my only resource.  Several of the prints that I have made thus far have only been researched because of an experience I have had myself.  Perhaps, like most people, I choose only to remember and pick-out the shocking and the bad, over the well-behaved, quiet and retiring children.  The official spiel goes like this:

“Warnants’ prints, and the books from which they come, are a response to childhood, as it seems to exist today. One reminisces about childhood as a Blyton-esque story: romanticised and idyllic. Quickly one glosses over the angst and growing pains. Today’s children are not allowed such innocence. Transforming old into new, weaving sweet with unsavoury, these satiric manipulations are sugar-coated in a classic style to make this, only slightly exaggerated, reality easier to swallow.”

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