survives on lies and deception. This is no more
apparent than with the cosmeceutical industry.
Anti-ageing creams and moisturisers are mostly
not effective and their pseudo scientific ingredients
such as “phyto-complex of boswellia extract
with manganese” and “3-D insta-firm
complex with bioactive peptides” dazzle
and intrigue us. Our lineal facial micro-contractions
(frowning) are caused by our wonder at such
terminologies and ‘angel dust’ marketing
techniques cause us to spend.
During my research into the make-up industry
I came across the story of the ‘Radium
Girls’ in the 1920s who were employed
to paint the tiny glow in the dark numbers onto
the latest must have wrist watches. They were
told the only side effect of the radium paint
would be rosy cheeks. So, unaware of its true
radioactive nature, they would point their brushes
with their lips and paint their faces and nails
with the deadly substance to wow their family
and friends. With delicate honey combed jawbones
and cancerous sores they all died.
Five of these women gained notoriety for their
efforts in challenging their employer in court
and thereby bringing about regulations governing
labor safety standards.
The art work is titled ‘deception’.
Painted in ill-colours with a tele-shopping
soundtrack, it is a mash-up of the cosmetic
industry pseudo science of today and the tragic
consequences of the untruths of yester-year.
The five pieces are separately named after and
dedicated to these five women: Grace, Edna,
Albina, Quinta and Katherine.
5 x acrylic,
painted & screenprinted, glow-in-the-dark
paint on canvas.
mannequins hand with glow-in-the-dark
and a video performance piece available to view
'Art and rampant shopping' article Manchester
the Bag - Exhibition 2008 - Sale