I created this piece at the time when the world was going through the coronavirus pandemic. When whole cities were in lock-down, it was easy to think there was little hope left.
But people did cling onto hope and gradually they were rewarded. China started the recovery process and so too did Europe. There will be many scars left, but at least the journey to recovery is underway.
I was partly inspired by the painting Hope. George Frederic Watts painted it in 1886. The painting proved very popular with the aesthetic movement, who considered beauty the primary purpose of art. I disagree because I firmly believe art is about communication of an idea or message. Nonetheless, Hope is a great piece.
This piece is quite interesting because Watts actually painted several versions. He received many offers from people who wanted to buy the original but he donated many of this works to the nation and felt that Hope should go the same way. He painted a second version, which he donated to the South Kensington Museum in London, and sold the original. He also sold a few other versions of the painting too.
Hope was a hugely influential painting. Martin Luther King based a sermon on the painting in 1959 and, perhaps more famously, Jeremiah Wright mentioned the painting his sermon in 1990. In that audience that day was the young Barack Obama.
I hope you enjoy my piece.