Scenes from Parliament: The Commons

commons_web_russell

A study of the House of Commons during Prime Minister’s Questions. I started this piece as technical challenge; I wanted to see if I could handle this much information while at the same time keep everything in perspective. Towards the end I became much more efficient at painting these miniature portraits, and began to render them in groups rather than individually. I enjoyed distilling the tiny figures into a few brush strokes, in the distance they become entirely abstract. If you look closely you might just be able to spot Theresa May to the left of the Dispatch Box, she sports long legs tipped with pointy shoes, and her signature salt and pepper hair.

Media: Gouache.

The Socialist.

Corbyn pre-election rant.

Portrait of Labour leadership candidate, Jeremy Corbyn.

The 2015 UK general election was a disaster for the Labour Party, former leader Ed Miliband (dis)gracefully resigned, leaving his situation vacant. The victorious Conservative Party are now implementing their post-election budget, a series of massive public spending cuts aimed at tackling the national debt. Austerity is a swear word on everyone’s lips, and the public are told further austerity is the only way forward—cold comfort when your standing in the queue at a food bank.

Yet, in spite of these hard times there are Conservative backed plans to replace the country’s nuclear deterrent, Trident, to the tune of 130 billion—enough money to run the ailing National Health Service for 40 years. Enter staunch socialist, and CND advocate, Jeremy Corby. An outsider in the Labour leadership election, who is lighting a fire under the seats of the political establishment. This champion of the public interest, who takes the night bus home with fellow commuters, has struck a chord with the largely disillusioned British electorate, engaging young voters, and re-mobilizing the once redundant Labour party left—real grassroots stuff.

But the Establishment have closed ranks, and stacked the odds against Mr Corbyn. Will this wave of public opinion be enough to carry him over their defences, and smote the naysayers against the rocks? Place your bets!

Media: Pen, acrylic paint, printing ink, and Photoshop.