All the work I make uses avatars that I have developed. They are based on my University Art History notebook doodles circa 1995-98. I used to use these to engage with the world when I was too mentally unwell during my 30’s to get out much. These Dweeblings, as I have named them, seem to have developed a life of their own and, being the unruly teenagers that they now are, get up to all sorts of nonsense. They stand in for people in portraits to add a degree of anonymity to those whose stories need to be told. They ape celebrities and make their own versions of works by Lewis Carroll, William Hogarth and Velasquez. Through these beings I can explore dark subjects such as poverty, sickness, madness, alienation, crime and victimisation and see how acceptable I can make terrible things by painting them in a simplistic manner, in bright colours and by putting a big smile on a character’s face. I also like to document the lighter side of life, of people’s hopes and dreams. I often try and combine both the light and dark side’s of humanity, blurring the lines of which is which. I work mainly in acrylic paint on canvas but also use, watercolour, Indian ink and iPad. I also created works based on Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress solely using a ball point pen.