If Your Clothes Catch Fire: Tom Ranahan
‘What To Do In An Emergency’
This series of paintings has its origins in a 1980’s Reader’s Digest self-help, family manual. The book, entitled ‘What to do in an Emergency’, contains information and illustrations ranging from first aid, to self-defence and survival tips. I invited independent, artists and producers from the cultural industries, based in or associated with Birmingham, to appear in the paintings. The practitioners featured are Ian and Pippa Francis of 7 Inch Cinema, artist duo Juneau Projects, Kerry Thomas and David O’Coy of Fused /Area Magazine, writer and curator Matt Price, artist Tom Ranahan, the Founding Directors of artist-led space Eastside Projects and a self-portrait. I approached each of the subjects and asked them to look through the book and choose a particular illustration that they were attracted to. I offered a limited range of colours to choose from and only permitted myself to add white to the body of the chosen colours.
These monochrome paintings are transcriptions and re-enactments of the illustrations found in the book. The book’s role is to inform the reader of how to be self-sufficient in difficult circumstances, an important quality for anyone involved in the cultural industries, a precarious life with no clear career paths or financial certainty.
60 x 80cm (x7)
Oil on canvas