By Himarni Brownsword
Ceramic Sculptures 2016
This body of work looks at blind patriotism in the face of urban deterioration and how this jingoism is utilised by political parties for their own gain. I made the ceramic sculptures during the 2015 General Election, a time when UKIP and the rhetoric which has led to Brexit was on the rise. There seemed to be a constant drive for political parties like UKIP to assimilate with working class culture during this time; a feat they attempted through promoting this idea of ‘pride for Britain’- an ultra-nationalistic ideology obsessed with the imagined glory of England- in an attempt to appeal to the masses, all the while masking the true agenda of the UK Independence Party. Still, the actual nature of Britain whilst all of this was going on couldn’t have been any further away from the aforementioned rose-tinted view, this includes Stoke-on-Trent, the city where I was born and live in, which has faced immense neglect and decline in recent years.
The portrayal of the aforementioned ideas are represented through simple metaphor in my work. The oversized pig sits upon the terraced house, which almost bows underneath this pressure. This of course represents patriotisms suffocation of the reality of modern-day Britain, as well as how this patriotism has been manipulated by the likes of UKIP for self-gain. The terraced house is a portrayal of places like Stoke, which despite this patriotism still continue to be ignored. Upon the pig and houses is depictions of the backdrops of Stoke, as well as the symbols of UKIP and patriotism. Overall, in this work I attempted to depict the reality behind jingoism which in the years gone past has been manipulated by the likes of UKIP to create an image of a Britain which has never existed, and which will never exist.