The artist was intrigued with the way Covid-19 had transformed not just society but our surroundings, with nature taking over urban areas during the pandemic. He travelled to London nature spots already well known for the way nature had intruded over manmade constructs. First to St Dunstan’s-in-the-East, an abandoned gothic church near Tower Bridge and then Hampstead Pergola, a building which is similarly over run with free-growing plants which have found beauty in urban abandon.
The model wears a mask as a false public face. The confused plastic smile represents our concealed emotions during a period of unprecedented panic and uncertainty over health, livelihoods and the wider economy. It also represents the face masks we wear in public during this period to keep the virus away. The artist's work makes the viewer confront truths that they would prefer to keep hidden. The term ‘keep a brave face on it’ was never more apt than during this pandemic.