Kathleen the Queen (2018), 125 x 160 x 5 cm, oil on canvas
Obstruction given by Paddy O'Donnell: Reimagine painting ‘Kathleen the Queen’ as monochrome and 3D
Miss Covid-19 has successfully obstructed my life throughout 2020. She stole my money, lost my job, banished my friends and messed with my head. So, I felt pretty accustomed to obstructions when Paddy approached me with yet another two.
Paddy asked me to reimagine my painting ‘Kathleen the Queen’ as monochrome and 3D. Compared to Covid-19, these obstructions appeared to be much kinder, but I soon realised they would be an equal pain in my arse.
I created the original painting in 2018 and swiftly sold it. Yet, the character of Kathleen has since dominated my thoughts and recent work; although gone, she is not forgotten.
Remaining true to my obstructions, I chose to recreate and commemorate this character as a 3-dimensional monument concealed head to toe in a monochromatic glaze. Just like Kathleen’s fellow public statues, she shares her plinth with visiting pigeons and reminisces of their shit.
When constructing Kathleen in clay I didn’t give much thought to the logistics. Instead, I frantically pieced her together like the crazed Victor Frankenstein. This is when I discovered my third obstruction; every time I added her head, she collapsed. I persisted, cried, recycled limb after limb until I could finally exclaim…‘she’s alive!’