Faultmagazine’s Blog

Artist Statement, Jonny Briggs

Posted in Jonny Briggs by faultmagazine on February 14, 2010

My work is compensation for the childhood loss of my father and I’s relationship.

By: amandine paulandre

Stemming from paternal dominance and childhood rebellion, I address and contest the once felt tension between being apart from him and being a part of him in negotiation with the unchangeable past.

This rebellion from my father promoted female role models and revolt against my gender, where I strived to be included in the inaccessible domain of my four older sisters. Traditional expectations kept me confined within a male gender, and fantasies emerged through these restraints to counteract my loss and confinement.

By revealing these issues that need to be confronted in my work, I honour my biologically male sex alongside my socially female gender, expressing empathy for the people my father and I were, and celebrating the people we are now.

Processes of control in the nostalgic production of my work role reverse my childhood passivity to previous choice, and feminine rituals taught by my mother help me to create objects such as ceramic dolls, teddy bears, costumes, masks, bodily attachments and toys. These often become the props of restaged moments in my photographs in child-like theatricalisations of paternal loss and gender tension.

These are furthermore plumped up with systems of symbols to the point of puzzle, enticing a conundrum to be solved in order to access past secrets, drawing inspiration from Renaissance painting, iconography, cartoons and childhood games of spot the difference, Simon says and hide and seek. Through subtle undermining of repressive traditions and the idyllically staged family photograph reminiscent of my past family life I praise the conquering of our past habits, in awkward collisions of adult and childhood fantasies.