Escape From Reality
Matthew Shutt

I was around 6 or 7 when I went with my Mum and Nan to an old toyshop in Scarborough and bought my first set of marvel action figures. I couldn’t contain my excitement as I looked upon the wondrous imagery and signage on my way to viewing the action figures staring at me from inside their box.

It wasn’t until I saw my own son play with these old figures 30 years on did I realise I had forgotten this world. I could almost taste the pure joy and wonder. Having struggled with mental health issues as an adult I wanted to be transported back to these times with all it’s innocence and imagination.

In these works I integrate the figures with household objects, set up scenarios often of the hero saving the day, saving my day. I detach myself from reality and my thoughts of non – existence and instead in the act of painting I am immediately transported to another universe.

Tim Boardman

The images I have chosen to ‘develop’ show a simple romantic vision of a pre First World War, ‘costume drama’, England. They show a scene of Idyllic charm…cottages with roses around the door, neat gardens, and homely interiors full of happy families. These paintings have and still do, adorn people’s homes, and are chosen for their comforting images.

Into this comfortable world I juxtapose the modern day reality of commercialisation, consumerism and the continued threat of another war. The villages no longer house families, or local shops or post offices. They have become empty second homes seldom used. They have become fake stage sets.