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Screen Print

‘Figureheads’ is based around exploring the idea of good and bad in individuals who have been in power or have impacted the society around them. Through research Maddock has investigated different characters both good and bad; or some combination of both, depending on an individual’s opinion. The primary focus being the leaders and dictators of the world both past and present. The final artwork produced consists of four A2 Prints, using the method of screen-printing. Focusing on portraiture to convey individuals, Maddock chooses three historic world dictators, Joseph Stalin, Mao Ze Dong and Adolf Hitler. These individuals are easily recognisable. The three together top the list for the three deadliest dictators having killed vast numbers of people during their reigns of terror. Along with the three dictators Maddock includes Donald Trump, at the time of the artworks creation there was ever-growing media coverage on the presidential election. Looking at some of his policies at that time, some of which in the artists opinion are heinous (the wall separating the US from Mexico) and others aren't as bad (more care for veterans) leaves Maddock along with the world with a sense uncertainty to his future in office. The reason for his inclusion within the four is due to his representation of the future, the idea that possible dictators could still get into power. Using Donald Trump as an example of a possible questionable leader helps the artist achieve this. Included with the prints are captions underneath each portrait, these are in the native language of the character accompanied with the English translation. The captions consist of both positive and negative aspects about their reigns. Positives are used to humanise each dictator causing an inner turmoil within the audience as they form their opinion about the individuals’ character. Maddock then uses language to connect with all nationalities, as when these people were in power the ramifications of their actions were felt internationally. The configuration of the prints consists of the portraits, screen printed in black onto a white background with shapes and colours printed over the images of the dictators. This creates a contradiction between the dictator and the vibrant shapes which represent the possibility of the individual’s good side. While we are usually exposed to policies and actions through the media the colour and shapes can also be a metaphor for propaganda. The artworks were displayed as four prints in wooden black frames. Hung from a wall back drop of the artists ‘dictator’ wallpaper; this consisted of the repetitive print of each dictator and Donald trump in black upon the stark white wall of the gallery. Along with the prints the artist displays a political leaflet listing the good and bad side of Donald Trump to engage with the audience.

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