Charlie Hardcastle

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The ideas my current practice surrounds are those to do with homosexual identity and the nature of male same-sex relationships in the digitalised age. Through the depiction of two separate distinct figures, but both featuring the same head, I explore the nature of how many people in same-sex relationships are attracted to people who look physically similar to them, and additionally how those tend to grow more similar to each other the longer a coupling goes on. I combine these figurative aspects with graphic imagery derived from digital and computerised programs in order to contrast to the traditional materiality of oil paint. In addition to this, through methods of obscuring the identity of the figures in the pieces, I connote the censorship of homosexual relationships in mainstream media, and the ways in which people are able to obscure their identity within the online dating platforms (referenced again by the graphic/computerised imagery) that which many homosexual and heterosexual people use to find relationships.

My choice of imagery and forms which intersect the carefully painted figurative portraits offer a visual and conceptual juxtaposition of the intimate, human reflection of relationships with an algorithmic and computerised aspect of said identity and relationships.

An additional aspect of my practice which explores gender and sexual identity are the digital collages which are proposed images I would hope to realise into physical casts at some point in the future. With these casts I explore the gendered aspects of connectors of inanimate objects, which are labelled to have male and female parts (I.e. a plug’s prongs are ‘male’ and the socket holes is ‘female’) – an example of how a rudimentary heteronormativity pervades into many aspects of daily life which often goes unnoticed. I aim to subvert these ideas by replacing the female receptor with the male part, creating almost a same-sex version of these object connectors.

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