"Escape"

In this series of paintings I've tried to show just how bleak and terrifying authoritarian states are, and how isolated and dehumanising individuals feel under such conditions. 

 

These paintings depict the desperate attempts to escape where people risk everything for freedom.  I wanted to remind people of the precariousness of the journey from idealism that is corrupted by ideology and zealotry.

 

They remind me of my experiences as a 19 year old in West Berlin, visiting 'Checkpoint Charlie'.  I've also used grey and black pierced by harsh spotlights of white breaking-up a protest of illicit dancing in Iran, for example, and I've painted monumental buildings which are always intruding on privacy.

 

I'm reminded of today's evils, such as children forced into being child soldier killers, forced marriage and denial of education for young girls. In a painting I finished last Summer, I refer to the treacherous nature of overladen boats trying to get to Europe to avoid bloodshed and poverty.

© 2019 Stephen Hornsby-Smith

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