20 Oct 2010

Trash Baby

The Execution of Lady Jane Grey   1833, Paul Delaroche

Trash Baby  Oil on Cardboard 33 x 26 inch
When I first encountered Delaroche’s epic work (the dimensions of the original virtually fill one wall of the National Gallery), I was struck by the drama and deathly anticipation of the piece. Lady Jane Grey (1536/7?-1554) has the unfortunate moniker ‘The Nine Days Queen’. She was imprisoned in the Tower of London and beheaded after claims to her succession were undermined by Mary Tudor. The tale behind her decline and rapid fall is typical of the political machinations of the time. But I find her death, at such a tender age amongst so much personal and social turmoil, particularly moving. It is this sadness that drew me to this work.

In my response to Delaroche’s sombre and highly staged painting, the execution has become a chaotic and choreographed set piece. There are hints of a film set and the female participants are curiously objectified. The world they find themselves in, where hope and fear are irrelevant, is sickly sweet and unremitting. 


My Interview with Georgie Magazine (issue 4)
It has turned out really nicely :-)

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