Paul Garrard: Nothing is ever black and white


‘Repetition’ digital imageorwell

‘Orwell’  digital image


Digital Image


‘The Road to Wigan Pier’    pen and ink   A4

Artist statement                                                                                                                                         I like to think that it is unusual that the first George Orwell book I read was Keep The Aspidistra Flying. It made a real impact on me. It made me realise that art could be autobiographical and still have a message. I felt real empathy with Gordon and it is still my favourite book of his. I’ve never been much of a fan of Animal Farm if I’m honest. It’s a good book well written but just doesn’t do it for me. The book that really helped me form my political views was The Road To Wigan Pier. George’s descriptions of how people lived and the poverty they endured affected me deeply, even though he was documenting times well before I was born. He made me realise that you cannot separate politics from any other activity. Even breathing is a political act. And art most certainly is! Anyone who thinks that art shouldn’t be or isn’t political is just deluding themselves.

Predictably the work that has influenced my art more than any of his writing, and which I think is one of the best loved stories ever written, is his dystopian masterpiece ‘1984’. In these dark times it is never far from my thoughts. Much of my work is kicking out at authoritarianism and the distortion of truth by the media. Newspeak is dominant.

His essay on ‘A Hanging’ and his writings from the Spanish civil war cemented my pacifism and my belief that the taking of human life to be totally wrong.

Some of my work is overtly Orwellian and obvious and then other times there will be a quite subtle reference. Much of my work deals with oppression, hate and injustice the weapons used by the elite to keep us in our place. The one theme that runs through virtually all of my art is the phrase ‘nothing is ever black and white’. So much of modern life is covered in a veneer. People take things at face value. They think what they are told to think by today’s thought police; – mainstream media.

About:                                                                                                                                            As a visual artist I work with a mix of media, although today much of my work is produced in a digital format. My work reflects how I feel, how I view the world and life with all its absurdities.

Nothing is ever black and white, even when it’s black on white my art should never be taken at face value. More often than not I work with very bold colours; I love their richness and the way they shout at the viewer.

I’m not sure I have a single style although much of my work could be best described as surrealist or post-modern pop/punk art. Having said that as far as I’m concerned it’s just me and my art as I rarely set out to consciously produce work in a specific style. When I’m not producing simple line drawings my favourite technique is to build up pictures in layers, sometimes using digital ‘paint’, sometimes using collage and sometimes both together. I’m also starting to work with video.


Audio/Video links:



Kerry Baldry: Boot

“If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.” – 1984 George Orwell

Stills from “Boot”       video: 1 minute 25 seconds


View the film by clicking the following link:

Kerry Baldry works in a range of media including film and video, painting and sculpture. She studied B. A. Hons Fine Art at Middlesex University and  also Film and Video (Post Graduate Diploma) at Central St. Martins College of Art and Design.

Many of her ideas have leant themselves towards the medium of film and video. Films have been shot on 16mm with a Bolex and have used facilities such as superimposition and stop frame often edited in camera.

Aspects of the human condition are recurrent themes in her work. Her films have been screened at various international film festivals and galleries, including BBC2’ s The Late Show (awarded an arts council grant), screenings at the I.C.A., The Lux, The Rotterdam Film Festival. Her film ‘Body’ was  shown continuously on large outdoor screens in 11 cities in Russia, part of OUTVIDEO video arts festival. Last year Baldry’s work was screened as part of Empire II in the Venice Biennale 2017

Emma Saunders


“Say No To ID”  Image of  ‘Presence’ projected on The Houses of Parliament for 25 minutes from midnight; 6/10/2006. In collaboration with Liberty Human Rights.*


projection 017Prisoner of consumerism

“George Orwell’s novel ‘1984’ was a starting point for the works; a novel which years ago seemed far-fetched in the UK. Gradually, information has become power and CCTV, JamCam, ID cards, Eye recognition etc have been gradually introduced to protect the public. The need for the public to be protected is counteracted by a fear that we need protecting.

Having spent five years working on the subject of control and the Totalitarian State,  inspired by George Orwell’s 1984  and the links with modern day society – I have produced a number of works to reflect this, including collaborating with Liberty Human Rights to produce a projection onto the Houses of Parliament ( in demonstration over the ID card), performance art, digital media, and installations have incorporated this theme. Exploring social interaction with the art works was key for many of the works, to engage the viewer and to question what has become of our everyday lives.

The more recent impact of the data shared via the internet is a newer and more prominent issue and there is a fine line between protection of personal information and exploitation and indeed between order and chaos. The use of our private information for the benefit of others has now shifted from a localised governmental issue to now a more frightening prospect of worldwide exploitation via the internet which has been evident by the recent publicity of social media.”

Follow the Leader:     video  1min 52 secs.

Follow the Leader  examines the effects of situational power and control; to implant fear, confusion and deference.

Drawing on political and sociological sources to play on the viewers experience, this piece encourages interaction with the viewer. The entrance and exit into the installation are not clearly defined, only the text gave an indication of “leadership” and most viewers followed this.  Entering through a dark corridor, single file and forced to turn the corner, drawn towards the light of a projection the viewer becomes an active presence, consciously aware of how their shadows are cast on the projection before they can view and having to lower their eyes to avoid the projectors beam (as though under interrogation). Walking towards the next corner, which holds the ultimate viewing point whereby both screens can be viewed, a duplicate film displaying further corridors and corners with sound of decisive footsteps is projected and questions – who is leading who? As others enter the installation the viewer feels obliged to move from this ultimate position as the projection becomes overcast with the next viewers’ shadow.

videoStills from “Follow the Leader”    video 1min 52 secs.


About the Artist

Emma Saunders is a contemporary fine artist living and working from her studio in Suffolk, England. After attending Ipswich School of Art she later gained a BA Hons at UCS (affiliated with the UEA) in 2006 and has exhibited and sold works nationally and in internationally. Previously involved with conceptual, large scale installations and video, collaborating with Liberty Human Rights in October 2006 on themes of a social and political nature. The ideology of control and power and the subsequent consequences of these have played a part in her work. Recently, her work has taken a shift to painting although she is always drawn back to this subject.

“As a young teenager, I listened for hours to ‘Pink Floyd’ something resonated with me, literature inspired me further and later when the world started changing to a technological age of the internet, CCTV etc. the unreal started to become real. It was then that I realised I need to speak out through art.”

watchtowerhires                        The kind of place we live

*”It was a strange one as the night of the projection there was a Luton lorry parked on the bridge for almost 30 minutes with the back open and a large projector shining at the Houses of Parliament with the lads operating it in black and some with balaclavas – in that time we had no police intervention only two community officers who mentioned parking restrictions. Bearing in mind this was just after a one mile protest rule from the square.                                                                                              Shami Chakrabti and other MPs from various constituencies were present during the screening – but no press and nothing online at all afterwards. All I can think is that the Home Office intervened? I emailed the press but no publication.  Liberty used the image which also included one with text “Say No to ID” in their members newsletter and I think that was it. Very odd. It was  in some respects a disappointing outcome, although passer-by’s took photos. Almost as if it never existed. Fitting really.”

Kath Wilkinson and the destruction of Resistance

wp 1a

Kath Wilkinson is a director of promotional films. She has worked in the corporate video sector  as first model-maker then director for nearly twenty years. A cineaste whose own work looks to commercial cinema rather than art video, her work is usually seen only at ‘pop-up’ events -and by invitation only, “but I wanted to contribute to this project when advertised. Orwell’s writing is very filmic and I have always wanted to tackle ‘The Road to Wigan Pier’ as a longer feature. I have developed some scenes on story boards  but this project is at present, a work in progress.”


The Destruction of Resistance:  video 4mins. 34 secs.

“For room 103, I looked closely at the three commercial film versions of 1984. My video examines the climactic scene of Winston Smith’s betrayal of Julia.

In contrast to the black & white film versions of Cartier in 1954 and Anderson 1956 and the washed out ‘period’ hues of the Radford feature released in 1984, I wanted to make the fear visceral through saturated, full colour within a fully illuminated room. Torture techniques are alive and well and operating in the full colour world of the here and now.

Orwell knew that the expectation of torture was a psychologically more effective tool than the act itself to accomplish moral disintegration. The film comprise four minutes of tight cropping centred on the mouth distorted by fear, the head rocking to and fro in a vain attempt to avoid its impending fate.


Because I used the rats point of view, closing slowly in on the face, I elected  to utilise that animal’s faster metabolic rate and reactions, so the victim’s movements and accompanying pleadings are correspondingly slowed down. The distorted screams are overlaid by the chattering of rats teeth.

The whole is jerkily edited  like a badly looped pieces of footage.

It is a corporate video; a torturer’s educational manual; a public service film

‘pour l’encourage les autres’…”

Kath Wilkinson April 2018



Antoni Garcia Serrat

Room103 OrwellResponseProject copyOrwell6“This picture wants to show the feeling of loneliness and the need to action.”                etching and aquatint:  paper size is 31.5 x 38.3 cm. Image size is 16.2 x 19.7 cm.

“Although I read George Orwell the author, sincerely I am not an expert on his work. I remember that the reading of “1984” had a great impact in me. His vision of a  kind of controlled society was premonitory and has had and depressive effect on my vision about the role of the individual on contemporary society.

Recently, the artist Tony Baker let me recover the interest on George Orwell through his exhibition and lecture in the Superior Design and Art School of Vic (Catalonia) last year. As a Catalan citizen I am very thankful to George Orwell for helped on the fight against fascism and for his work “Homage to Catalonia”, especially in these moments in which our rights as a country are threatened.”

_DSC4695_DSC4706Small paintings 21 x 21 cm.


4FQ025FQ01IMG_2478IMG_2520 2IMG_2808 photographs and hand tints:     31’5 x 31’5 cm


My work about entrances and interiors is my personal vision of an architectural fragment which currently we are losing; taking away part of my childhood memories.

Entrances are the frontier between in and out, between private public and public, between present and future. In my personal vision, the entrance is a symbol that makes me think about the meaning of the architecture beyond its shape and function.

I think that nowadays many countries close their doors to save themselves but instead they only make prisoners of their citizens….

Nu sur le Plage: Jura Brian Joyce



Jura Brian

‘Nu sur le Plage’   Jura Brian Joyce    oil on canvas  182x182cm

It has been a few years since I have read the works of George Orwell. I read “Down and Out in Paris and London” just before going to live in France myself, I read “The Road to Wigan Pier” to be astonished at the treatment of mine workers and their families.  The famous book “1984” however goes much further than any other work of the dystopian genre, through the writings of the revolutionary figure Emmanuel Goldstein we get an explanation of the blueprint of the class structure.  The well known work “Animal Farm” gives us a narrative of revolution and tyranny, wherein we are the our own worst enemies.  There is no state solution in Orwell, all power is corrupt.

George Orwell stands tall as the best example of the struggle that will never end, and in my art work I try to define the limits of state and personal freedom, given the material reality in which we live. The painting “Nu sur le Plage” is a large painting of a mature and corpulent woman on the beach, clearly the woman has in her life given birth probably numerous times, this has taken it’s toll upon her body. She stands next to a sand castle, an example of her formidable intelligence and far off in the distance the horizon line at the level of her eyes cuts apart the body from the mind.  The paintings seems to suggest ‘ life ain’t much, but what did we expect and why did we expect it otherwise?’  Thus a critique of capitalism and the commodity fetish that forces us all to demand more, until the earth is barren. Only keen wisdom can save us from ourselves .



“It all started in my childhood, I had a keen artistic talent at the age of two, in early adulthood I began a course in technical illustration, involving a study of the Early Renaissance.  I have developed my artistic practice since then though not without is ups and downs, I have studied photography, psychology and the French language, and now, after twenty years of artistic production, I  have a body of large paintings and drawings; figurative works for the most part.  I really must say I’m not the best artist of my generation -but I am definitely in the top one!  Despite this I have never made a penny, and will have to sell my art for next to nothing to someone overseas and let my talents go to s***t.”

Jura Brian Joyce

Glenn Ibbitson: Landscapes of Betrayal – further notes

The first time I used anamorphic distortions in one of my own compositions, it appeared at the feet of “The Claw” [2005]; one of the performers in the ‘Smoke and Mirrors” project. A self portrait can be identified at the figure’s feet if viewed from close to the lower left edge of the picture plane.

glenn ibbitson claw

The Claw: oil on canvas  122x 91cm

I have used an anamorphic portrait here in the “Landscapes of Betrayal” as a way of visually representing Winston Smith’s gradual realisation what Room 101 Holds in store for him… By moving from a central position in front of the artwork to the designated point of view at the left edge of the drawing, a confusion of half grasped visual information slowly morphs into a screaming face.


Landscape of Betrayal #7 graphite and watercolour

It has been pointed out that the anaglyph portrait might be seen to represent Big Brother himself, rather than, or as well as Winston Smith. Because of its distortion, the portrait observes the viewer BEFORE its discovery from the designated p.o.v.


Landscape of Betrayal #6 graphite and watercolour


Landscape of Betrayal #5 graphite and watercolour

Glenn Ibbitson: Four Orwell Book Cover Designs

Coming up for Air 3

Coming Up For Air:     Five layer screenprint  1/1

1984 2

1984:   six layer screenprint  1/1


Homage to Catalonia:  five layer screenprint  1/1


The Essential Orwell x4:        four layer screenprint  1/1

A suite of unique, one-off screenprints [no limited editions have been created]. These form part of a design proposal for a new series of covers for Orwell’s complete works. They have been based on both the graphic and physical qualities derived from the overlayerings, degradation and tearing/ripping of posters from billboards. Orwell’s finest writing has the graphic power and universal clarity of communication one finds in the best poster art. The figurative element was transferred from three different self-portrait drawings. These were  ‘traced’ onto  transparent acetate sheets using paint. When dry, they were each directly exposed onto separate silk screens using photo-emulsion. Together, they form the only element of the print requiring careful registration.

Liquitex acrylics on Seawhites 300gsm  and Fabriano Artistico papers.   A1 size

The prints were first publicly previewed at PRINTFEST 2017:  Ulverston, Cumbria.

These four prints are now part of a private collection in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I am delighted that they form part of a cultural protest on the front line against the doublespeak currently emanating from the White House…


Glenn Ibbitson: Barcode WS19842017


Barcode Jan2017Barcode: WS19842017

The barcode is the symbol nonpareil of 21st Century commerce. It is projected across the model here to represent the subjection of the individual to societal requirements. When humanity is assigned a particular value like any other product, set by market forces, how much easier it becomes for developed society to satisfy both its economic and sexual requirements. Humanity consumed with no more regard than any other expendable, off the shelf, imported [trafficked] goods.

This work is something of a personal appeal against the constant erosion of self-worth, individualism and dignity in a zero-hour contract society.

The sub-title refers to a certain Winston Smith and the year with which his name is forever associated.

It serves as a warning  that a state in which its citizens as treated as commodity and in which said citizens are willingly bought off  by diversionary, cheap product; -prolefood, risks disaster.

The painting is part of the four venue tour of the New Light Art Prize, opening on November 18th. at Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, Co. Durham  DL12 8NP

Glenn Ibbitson 1glenn ibbitson cGlenn Ibbitson b