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Joshua Gourlay

Portraits and Symbolism

About

The first image shows an A3 pencil drawing of a priest known as Fr. Simon preaching at the lectern   in my home parish church of All Saints, Perry Street in Northfleet. The lectern depicts a mighty eagle symbolising St. John the Evangelist, who wrote the fourth gospel. Situated next to the priest is an almost empty candle stand with only one candle alight in front of a statue of St. Mary tenderly holding the infant Christ.

The second image shows a family tree created with a vast range of materials. The tree displays my genealogy and three generations with my grandparents at the top, my parents in the centre, and myself as well as my brother at the bottom. I painted myself holding a paintbrush, so the viewer does not get me confused with my younger brother. Each portrait was painted with acrylic paint onto sustainable cardboard canvases, which were cut from a recycled box with a scalpel. The paint creates a compelling effect on the cardboard, which I am considering exploring in later paintings. The portraits were applied to an A1 board and embellished with handmade leaves. The leaves were based on genuine ones scavenged around my hometown and painted in natural colours: green, red, yellow, orange, and brown. After the leaves were dry, they were applied around the cardboard canvases to create a treelike effect.

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