Inspired by Beatrix Potter's beautiful tales of Peter Rabbit with an underlying concept that fits perfectly with what this wonderful charity stands for in the battle against something so widespread and cruel. My aspirations for this piece were to create a beautiful picture that fans of the stories would love and embrace, for it to sit perfectly within my current body of work ‘Love Knows No Bounds’ where I showcase the interaction between characters and illustrate what someone is willing to do for love whilst also conceiving a narrative of my own that relates to impact of someone living with Alzheimers.
For those who follow my work will know there is a constant, the battle between darkness and light, despair and hope - this was never a pre-planned direction to build a brand around but one that I realised was forming without intention, formed from my own personal battles and the contrasting mindset that I found myself in at the time of creating a new piece of art. A piece would start out with the intention of being completely dark or the opposite yet as my mindset would change quickly throughout the duration of the piece there would be opposing details injected that I started to accept being a window into my state of mind where I struggled to keep staring at the sun without allowing the shadows to grow taller behind me. Creating this particular piece had to be exactly what it is entitled ‘A Picture Of Hope’, to force myself to keep my eyes on the sun in the hope that I won't see the shadows that will undoubtedly always be there. Looking at the finished piece I am incredibly proud that I have managed to do just that and my hopes are that it will offer some rays of light and hope to others for many reasons.
I loved the adventures of Peter Rabbit as a child, I think pretty much everyone did. The beautiful setting, the diverse range of characters and the edge to it with having the constant threat of being caught and cooked by Mr McGregor! I loved the illustrations, the compositions where characters would interact in front of the garden backdrop, the more I looked back in detail the more I realised that this narrative had the perfect blend of darkness and light that appeals so it just had to be the subject for this piece. I have created a powerful and intriguing backdrop set within the Lake District that inspired Beatrix Potter to write her stories originally. So much has been left to the imagination with choosing not to show inside the main garden, to fuel the intrigue of the viewer as much as those that you see in the picture. Peter and family are all there, as well as Squirrel Nutkin, Mr Jeremy Fisher, Tom Kitten and Mrs Tittlemouse - all under the close watch of Jemima Puddle-Duck.
The gate to Mr McGregor’s garden is propped open for all to enjoy, the rusting garden rake that once terrorised Peter and friends stands against it, for some time it seems as the beautiful garden roses have grown up and around it to keep firmly in place. Mr McGregor is living with Alzheimers and whilst he still embraces his deep-rooted love for gardening, he has forgotten to be angry and instead a much more youthful and warm trait has blossomed where he now looks at those who come to visit as friends and seeks comfort in those that bring affection and love through the gate. Whilst hesitant, not knowing how to adjust, fearful at first, those that surround Mr McGregor draw strength and courage from Jemima, a wonderful figure who never stops guiding, pointing them towards the sun. With everyone working as one you find the courage to abstain from the acceptance that a new chapter simply awaits but instead to write new ones, to make more pages within each chapter, to make new memories to replace those lost, to change the ending.