Between The Ropes And The Canvas
‘’Rhythm is everything in boxing. Every move you make starts with your heart, and that’s in rhythm or else you’re in trouble.”– Sugar Ray Robinson
Through exploration of old family photographs, I decided to choose boxing as my subject matter as it is something that I have been surrounded by from a young age because of my uncle Andy. He competed in the Olympics and went on to become the middleweight champion of the world. Like boxers, artists put their heart and soul into their work. Self-belief and dedication for something that can go wrong in an instant, something the world can judge you on. They both need to have courage to climb between the ropes and do what they love.
Looking at it now through a painterly eye it incorporates the figure in a dynamic way which could be abstracted and expressive at the same time. Between the Ropes And The Canvas is an exploration of memory, movement and identity. By going to the club and trying to take images of the young fighters while they were training, I had to duck and dive and dance in between the fighters being careful not to get in the way of their power almost shadow boxing as I was taking the images. Amongst the dark gym which was flooded with fluorescent lights, testosterone and natural serotonins, I started to enjoy myself and realise that this was what I wanted to portray in my work this year.
In my work I aimed to express the feeling or energy being created by thinking of the way the body moves when boxing, how controlled but spontaneous it is. When I paint, I’m very interested in the mechanics of how it can be used as a tool by building it up or flowing and contracting it’s as much about control as it is about chance, working with the movements and what’s in front of you. The unpredictability of the ink against the controlled static acrylic or blotchy bleach to depict a dangerous, free flowing power being created in a fight.