My research to date as focused on the themes of home and masculinity in post-war British art. This work emerged out of my PhD thesis and post-doctoral work at the Geffrye. I have published numerous articles on this work and I am currently completing a monograph titled Reconstructing Home: Painting And Male Identity In Post-War Britain. This book considers home as an unstable entity at this historical moment, imbued with the optimism and hopes of post-war recovery, while continuing to resonate with the memories and anxieties of wartime. It argues that artworks offer insights into the experience of the reconstruction of home in Britain in this period, in that they make visible and help to negotiate these contradictions. It focuses on John Bratby, Francis Bacon, Keith Vaughan, Victor Pasmore, and Gilbert and George.
My new research projects focus on two areas:
Migration and Identity in British Art and Exhibitions, 1945-present: This project will explore the histories of migrant artists in Britain through case studies of individual artists or groups and their exhibitions at and relationships with particular institutions. The aim here is not to create an alternative history of post-war British art, but to create a more complex picture of the activities and networks of artists in this period. Case studies will include Francis Newton Souza, Anwar Jalal Shemza, Li Yuan Chia, the BLK Art Group, and Chris Ofili.
Queer Culture and Global Encounters After 1945: The focus of this project are the queer global encounters of British-based cultural figures after 1945. The aim is to place the emergence of post-war culture in Britain with decolonisation, migration, and globalisation. As LGBTQ identities become an increasingly visible tool of political negotiation on the global stage (for Britain and other western nations in particular), this project would provide a history that sets the emergence of queer culture in a global context. Case studies will include Francis Bacon and David Hockney in North Africa, Howard Hodgkin, Derek Jarman, and Wolfgang Tillmans.