Receipts are the by-product of consumption, part of the aftermath of consumerism
and a waste product of today’s society. My work gives this ephemeral
object a new lease of life and a new value. I have always been very aware
of day-to-day data, like the till receipt, which are so commonplace they
go unnoticed. People become immune to the atheistic and information which
everyday objects impart. I want to establish an awareness of receipts
as objects through my practice.
The purpose of my work is not to replicate receipts exactly but through
a process of edits the receipt becomes an ambiguous composition. My paintings
are fragments of receipts so that the viewer is left with only pieces
of the original information. Only the essential visual elements of the
receipt are retained and a lot of the original information is less prominent,
resulting in an ambiguous composition.
The decision I made was to use large canvases, six foot by four foot,
not only to achieve an impact through the scale, but also to completely
alter the viewer’s perception of a receipt due to the scale. Viewers
are confronted by an image that is the same size as themselves that ironically
is a fragment of a receipt that started off as a tiny two cm image.
Receipts are a waste product of today’s society and are a reminder
that we desire a product and they consume it through purchasing it. The
viewer is forced to except their consumer identity when confronted by
these large receipt images.
Receipts become a biographical as they track and trace your history. The
receipt holds information of the time, date, and whereabouts of your purchases,
what you have purchased, where and what you have eaten, how you have made
the purchase, where you shop, and where you go out. This is illustrated
in the case of the Camden Ripper. When the police where trying to identify
him, they tracked him through the use of a Sainbury’s receipt found
in his rubbish bin. Police used his Nectar card details on the Sainsbury’s
receipt to find the date and time of his purchase in a named store and
then looked at CCTV footage to establish his identity. The purpose of
my work is to draw people’s attention to the amount of information
that is held in a receipt, which is often over looked in everyday life.
Saint Martins : BA Fine Art
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