Fish and Chips
2020 32" x 30"
Layered, painted, sandblasted and engraved glass
There's a passage in the Old Testament where an angel appears and orders the birds to fly down from the sky and eat the human race.
This made me think of tabloid newspaper headlines about people having their chips snatched by marauding seagulls while trying to have a nice day out.
It’s a classic British seaside scene, with a chip van, a helter-skelter and a giant Punch, from the Punch and Judy show.
Punch is carrying a placard with the bible quote written on it. He’s trying to sell us pamphlets about our impending doom, but he’s charging VAT, and as a notoriously untrustworthy character, he’s not necessarily to be believed.
You can see the angel in the chip van. Sadly, she has no fish to sell as the ocean has been overfished.
Next to the helter-skelter are lines from the Beatles song of the same name, asking ‘Tell me the answer’. Above it, an empty fishing net is trawling for non-existent fish.
Meanwhile the hungry birds in the foreground are trying to steal some fish back from us. The woman bottom left is in a state of ecstasy, oblivious to the descending seagull - all she cares about is her chips. Above her head, a gloved hand with a garden trowel punches its way out of the earth, symbolising regeneration and nature fighting back.