'I swear I'm not posing' / Michelle Martland
My recent works have dealt with the convergence of historical objects and the iconography of the modern era. I am fascinated by the presence of young people on social media and their highly constructed identities. I’ve often found myself amused by the language of emojis, the comfortable sharing of ‘nude selfies’ and the self-assurance people seem to gain with the anonymity of being online.
Paired with these themes I use rather simplistic, colourful, scribbled-like drawings and treatment, enhancing the playful humour I personally find with the subject matter. Having a grandmother who owns an antique store and being surrounded by such artefacts since childhood, I was drawn to the idea of juxtaposing the naivety of social media with the stern and often unapproachable Victorian-era portraits and similar historical imagery. By making these stark comparisons, I wanted to be able to highlight the perceived differences in the seemingly prudish past and over-sharing present, illustrating where we have come from and where we have found ourselves.