Concepts of heroes, leaders and monarchs has been a consistent theme to Andy Brown’s work for over 15 years and is one which he has revisited using numerous materials.
In 2002 Andy Brown started using tea bags to create paintings and other installations centred around the image of Queen Elizabeth II. This period of work lead to Andy appearing on BBC television and radio, along with appearing worldwide in newspapers, magazines, and board games (Trivial Pursuit). He received a letter from Buckingham Palace, London in response to his piece “God Save the Queen”, a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II made from over 1,000 tea bags which were sewn onto hessian. Since then he has exhibited these works widely, along with revisiting the same subject matter in different mediums.
Andy uses these highly recognisable cultural symbols to examine notions of heritage, empire and his own cultural identity. Within these images is a personal exploration of his memories, and feelings towards his nation’s traditions and history, explored through colour, technique and the medium itself. There is both a strength and fragility within these works, questioning ideas of belonging.