My series of commemorative portraits explores themes of compulsion, craft and contemporary culture. In 2012, to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, London jeweler Asprey collaborated with artist, Chris Levin, on a new work based on his 2004 holographic photograph of the Queen. The diamond diadem worn in the portrait was replicated with over a thousand multi-sized diamonds set in platinum by the jeweler (to be shown, auctioned with proceeds donated to two of the Queen’s charities). This story piqued my interest and set about my making a Jubilee portrait of the Queen using thousands of sparkling sequins.
I have since made portraits to commemorate her distinction as Britain’s Longest Reigning Monarch (Sept 9, 2015 – 63 years 217 days) and her Majesty’s 90th Birthday (April 21, 2016). A princess not destined to become Queen until her uncle abdicated the throne for love of an American divorcée and changed the line of succession; her reign will go down in history.