|Thirty Pieces of Silver (Wax, wire, hessian, wood, straw, 148 x 94 x 94 cm) was created as part of a winter exhibition for a project to bring art into the public realm of town centres and to fill empty shops which have been closed by the recession. The work is exhibited in a locked empty shop in a busy shopping centre. Twelve swaddled baby Jesuses are presented in a shop display unit, with each cell fashioned to resemble a manger. Each baby is labelled with a price tag of thirty pieces of silver. The viewer is invited to peer through the window to discover the price and is puzzled by their inability to enter the shop and make a purchase. The wax dolls are, in fact, up for auction on Ebay and as each one sells, an invoice will be left in its empty cell, reinforcing the confusion that they are being sold in the shop.
This observation on the flagrant commercialism of Christmas masks the underlying statement of my personal conflict about producing commercially viable art whilst staying true to one’s vision. Thirty Pieces of Silver is a confession of self-betrayal for financial survival.