I research art from Britain since 1945, focusing particularly on histories of gender, sexuality, migration, and home / the domestic across this period.
My current research project is a transnational history of queer art from Britain from 1957 and 1988 that explores how artists explored questions relating to gender, sexuality, and desire. From the publication of the Wolfenden Report in 1957 to the arrival of Section 28 in 1988, artworks were shaped by the experiences, languages, and metaphors of international migrations and decolonisation while simultaneously grappling with the shifting position of queerness within the British nation itself. Drawing on artworks produced by David Hockney, David Medalla, Howard Hodgkin, Sunil Gupta, and Rotimi Fani-Kayode, this research considers art as a sphere where the form that queer life might take during these pivotal decades was interrogated and discussed; where what we now recognise as queer life was shaped and formed, and where, at the same time, many other possible queer lives were articulated and explored.
I published a book called Art And Masculinity in Post-War Britain: Reconstructing Home with Bloomsbury in November 2019. It traced how artists represented home and masculinities in the period of social and personal reconstruction after the Second World War in Britain. It considered 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 traumas of wartime. Artists examined in the book included John Bratby, Francis Bacon, Keith Vaughan, Francis Newton Souza, Victor Pasmore, and Gilbert & George. Case studies featured ranged from the nuclear family and the body, to the nation. Combined, they presented an argument that art enables an understanding of post-war reconstruction as a temporally unstable, long-term phenomenon which placed conceptions of home and masculinity at the heart of its aims. The research in this book helped to shape Barbican Art Gallery's exhibition Postwar Modern: New Art In Britain 1945-1965 in 2022.
I contributed an essay to the catalogue for the National Gallery, London's exhibition Lucian Freud: New Perspectives in 2022. You can watch a video based on this essay here.