I’ve been working for a few months now on paintings that have been inspired by my love of 1990’s rave music, and in particular, the visual culture of British rave at that time.
Working from found video footage and photos from the 90’s, I am in the middle of a series of psyhedelic, multicoloured paintings in acrylic on canvas, which depict ravers dancing and gurning, and putting their hands in the air.
I was too young to go to raves at this point in history, so I have no direct experience of rave culture other than what filtered down through mass media to chart hits like ‘Charly’ by Prodigy, and seeing 808 State on the telly. I used to listen to pirate radio playing jungle music, with my headphones on at night, when I was about 11 or 12, and make tapes to share with my school friends. None of us had heard anything like it, and it really inspired us. It made me think of raves as a utopia, a totally free place to go wild and enjoy the music.
In my art work I am interested in the idea of alternate realities, and of people taking control of their own environments outside of the constraints of every day life. Raves fall into this category, and represent an idea of personal freedom, coupled with escapism, humour and silliness; also being part of a positive-thinking, yet subversive community.
Here’s a gallery below of the works completed so far: