EDUCATE YOUR VOICE
oil, pigment, charcoal, canvas
121cm w x 152cm h
by Christopher R. Inwood
WHAT the artist writes
EDUCATE YOUR VOICE
You recognise a familiar red hat paired with a common plain grey T-shirt. Between the two is a shape made of grey and white checks, familiar to some as the background layer of a Photoshop* file. The shape is unmistakably a human, who is aggressively pointing at their red hat. The checks hide the persons face, suggesting that their identity is not of importance. The Photoshop checks visually imply that the identity of the person is manipulable and interchangeable.
The checked hand points to the red hat, emphasizing its importance in understanding the image. On closer inspection, you can see a crudely painted America flag on the red hat, and Donald Trump’s political slogan comes to mind ‘make America great again’. However, the words haven’t been painted on it. Perhaps the hat isn’t directing us towards the specifics of America’s political climate, but rather the clothes. In the painting the clothes are being used as a uniform to represent the culture of the ill informed. The voice of ignorance spreads across the world with the mega phone that is the internet. We look again and now see a manipulable and interchangeable person wearing a ‘uniform’ for the ignorant, being shaped by the digital. Above the image sits the words ‘Educate Your Voice’.
Public forums and social platforms are prevalent within the operation of our current society, and can be accessed by every digital user, no matter your location or the cultural customs you enact or believe in. These social media platforms provide people with the ability to express personal ideas and opinions to a broader public. This provides class liberation, however it also has positives and negatives. It provides the oppressed with a voice in which they can communicate their mistreatment without censorship. However it has also allowed the ill informed to propagate misinformation. For example, it provides a voice to those who propagate things such as racism, violence, and hate. By drawing attention to a ‘uniform of ignorance’, the art work aims to encourage and direct the viewer towards self-education and informing their voice before sharing their opinion so widely.
*Photoshop is a computer program that digitally edits images and allows for the manipulation and development of any image. The checks in the painting are the same as the ones in Photoshop, which are the default background for a file that is being edited.