With the back drop of Covid-19 threatening to envelop Europe and already taking a hold in the UK, France and Italy, I had the idea of creating the UK flag entirely out of syringes.
It was not the first flag I had done using this controversial yet overlooked material, as I had previously made the US flag #ThisIsAmerica .
As lock down was imposed throughout Italy I was unable to get to my studio in Pietrasanta, heart of the contemporary art world especially in the summer months to start on it.
You can imagine how relieved I was to finally get this image out of my head and into a tangible form.
As anyone who follows my art knows, I have been fascinated by the symbolism of syringes and the myriad of reactions they can evoke in people. This has been an interest of mine from when as a child I was able to see and hear the reactions of patients being vaccinated by my father who was a family medic.
I realized that syringes could and do save lives.
As I grew older and more worldly I understood that they could also be used for other uses such as drug taking, plastic surgery, botox and tattoo art. Then came the polemical issue of to vaccinate or not.
was fascinated that a humble tool widely used in the medical world could be so symbolic and even have an extraordinary beauty.
With all that is going on at the moment regarding Covid-19 and countries successfully or unsuccessfully dealing with the devastasting effects of it plus the impending break away from the European Union I think this passage from Shakespeare’s Richard II is more relevant than ever.Here John of Gaunt laments that England has been sold out to internal corruption by King Richard….
“This royal throne of kings,this sceptred isle,
This earth of majesty,this seat of Mars,
This other Eden,demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men,this little world….”