The Subverted Vintage Tea Towel Series
One evening during Lockdown, whilst browsing a well known auction site, I started to search for vintage tea towels. Like many artists, I found Lockdown to be devoid of creativity. I had made a few things, but nothing had come close to reigniting it until I started looking at these pieces of domestic gold. Here was a vast untapped wealth that featured so much more than just the odd souvenir map or castle that suddenly made my creative juices start to flow again. Here were little canvases that were ripe for me to subvert. And that's how it all began. Each one of them deals with an issue that is prevalent in society. I have subverted the initial meaning of the tea towel with an overlaid statement to create a different perspective. Please click on each tea towel image for a more in depth explanation behind its creation.The collection is growing with more to be added soon. There are prints available of each one, should you wish to own your favourite. If you have any comments or interest in exhibiting the collection, please contact me.
1960's/70's vintage tea towel that features the image of a beautiful girl at her spinning wheel. When I first saw this tea towel I fell in love with it instantly and its evocative Brothers Grimm iconography. When it arrived, I couldn't believe how vibrate the incredible the colours were. So I was so glad that I had purchased it. I didn't know what I was going to use it for, but then my friend sent me a link to a story about Britney Spears and her issues with the management of her finances by her father. It's such a sad story that it reminded me of the story of Rumpelstiltskin, but more importantly how women are still being manipulated by men. So I merge the tea towel with my idea of how to hi-light Britney's plight and that is how A Grimm Fairytale was born.
1960's/70's Irish linen tea towel that features a kitsch cute mother and daughter pairing. This was too ripe not to subvert, so I decided to use an important feminist message from a mother to her daughter. From the onlookers perspective, they look soft, fluffy and adorable, but behind that façade, the next building block in the wall of feminist ideology is being laid.
Vintage Irish Linen 1970's/80's tea towel featuring a hen with her chicks and eggs all branded with the Union Jack flag. As soon as I saw this, it screamed Brexit at me. Sometimes I over think the message, but it the end, after I had walked around a bit, thinking of what it should say, it came to me. Keep it simple and don't put all of your eggs in one basket. I played around with the message and eventually, it was oven ready. Job done.
An animal welfare tea towel circa 1980/90s that features a baby seal that stares at the voyeur with the caption 'It's my world too!' I remember there was an outcry with regards to the bloody culling of baby seals and of the powerful impact of images on the news that featured their blood on the snow. Humanity has been afforded many chances to amend its ways for the devastation and harm it has done to the planet, the animals and each other, but we never seem to learn however shocking the image. That's the message here. In the time of Extinction Rebellion, whether you agree with their actions or not, we all need to be aware of our own environmental misnomers and take responsibility for them.