Alex Jabore, Manchester Member Since November 2011 Artist Statement I work mainly through oil on canvas, using monotypes and other forms of printmaking to plan and explore my imagery. I’ve always been dubious about artists painting great political events or disasters unless they themselves were involved. I put great store in the power of art and therefore believe that artists have a responsibility only to paint what they know and understand best. With this in mind, I’ve spent the past year or so studying the domestic dynamics and characteristics of my family, in particular contrasting the characteristics that make them unique with those that are universal to family life. The house series ‘Evening’ in particular was designed to capture a sequence of arbitrary events, insignificant in themselves, which alongside one another provide an insight into the people within the paintings. The atmosphere is safe, the warm tones and closed-in spaces suggesting protection, but the relationships of its occupants are questioned by the viewer who is able to compare them to the next house where they are each doing something else alone, and the next where they’ve changed again. The portrayal of each individual serves to suggest elements of their character interconnected in a doll’s-house structure of canvases which provides the narrative of five individuals simultaneously as they co-exist. In ‘Pass Over’ I wanted to examine - through the Shabbat candles, the bread and wine and all the female figures arranged in the ‘last supper’ composition - the religious influences which my mother brings to my home life. Passover is a lengthy ceremony, quite sombre in tone, commemorating the Exodus. Similarly the ‘Shabbat’ painting relates the weekly ceremony which we perform on Friday night. I’m not religious so a lot of this is seen as by a curious but somewhat ignorant outsider, the assumed position of the viewer. The celebrations are, by nature, inclusive and I’ve attempted to contrast the heavy religious connotations with the extremely familiar and everyday interaction of the figures, in particular the irony of the two foreground figures to the left, my mother (who introduced religion into an otherwise agnostic household when she converted to Judaism) and her friend, involved in such a pagan practice as palm reading. Probably the things I value most in my work are atmosphere and narrative. The viewer should feel like a fly on the wall within the story, the figures half-way through an imposed and private action, or conversing with someone else unaware that they are been observed. I also wished to allow enough uncertainty in the work for the viewer to impose their own ideas of family life and draw from it a personalised narrative which makes the scenes as much applicable to their own home and family as mine.