The Empty shells are of the taxidermied bodies of birds painted on discarded cardboard boxes and are intended as a playful contemplation on thoughts of the body viewed as a container for the spirit. The birds themselves are collected by photographing them in museums and stores in and around the United Kingdom and are often in a state of disrepair and neglect.
They are painted with a sense of love and loss, these beautiful creatures stripped of their spirit and life, stuffed with sawdust, once adored, now nothing more than macabre and decaying trophies of violence and theft.
Like much of my work the canvas is as intrinsic to the meaning as the subject painted on them and in this instance the boxes are selected mainly because they are also unwanted vessels that contained the value, the paintings are arranged around the existing prints, stamps, bruises and marks.
I can't really recall if there was any external inspiration for this in the way of other artists work, if anything these are an evolution of my earlier paintings - His Master's Voice in that both sets of paintings use similar visual themes of interplaying the paintings with the details of the found canvases. That and philosophies regarding the soul, the corporal vessel, value of life, abhorrence of violence and beliefs behind myself adopting vegan values.