I love it that my work creates smiles. However when people comment ‘cute’ and walk on past, I know they’ve missed the point…
I have a background as a farm worker, agricultural scientist and a veterinarian so I have worked on sheep farms, in sheep shearing sheds and on a research station where I had my own flock of sheep. I’ve had plenty of opportunity to get to know sheep and I learnt pretty quickly that despite outward appearances of sameness and a strong tendency to follow and flock together, they are remarkably – unique.
So even though I describe my work as anthropomorphic ie likening animals to humans, it’s really the other way around. I use sheep (and other groups of herd animals) to represent humans/humanity and to help us remember who we are. We are all the same in so so many ways. Talk deeply to anyone and I can guarantee that beneath that surface veneer they will have remarkably similar challenges to you…just presenting in different ways…
Yet, on another level…within that ‘sameness’ we are also unique or at least capable of being unique. There’s no doubt humans have a tendency to follow each other and this is used to great effect by corporate marketing agencies! Standing out from the rest becomes a choice. A scary one. But one we are all capable of. We can all chose to express our own uniqueness in multiple ways. We can stand up for what we believe in. Make the ‘right’ decision. Go the extra mile for others. Have the courage to follow our dreams.
…so that is an insight into why I am drawn to painting sheep…
PS Comments appreciated – don’t be shy!