Digital Painting from Pen and Ink SketchHas a Seagull Shat on Your Shoulder?, 2021

This self-portrait was created to reflect the constant irritation caused by the current populist political climate which seems to follow me around and infect and niggle at every aspect of daily life. It was done after realising that I find it almost impossible to relax without my thoughts returning to the seemingly never-ending litany of lies and corruption fed to us day after day. It’s always there, dragging everything to the right which is reflected in the framing of the image. They act with impunity, as if no-one is noticing, but I have my big, beady eye wide open and I’m watching. My head is turned away because I’m repulsed by the stench emanating from my shoulder. The thing on my shoulder is recognisable, but really it’s just a mess of a man. It doesn’t do detail. The title of the piece is just another way of saying “why the long face, what’s bugging you?”. I’ve always been interested in the power of caricature and cartoonists to hold those in power to account, from Cruikshank and Gillray to Banksy and Cold War Steve. Ridicule and mockery is one of the few tools we have which gets under their skin.