Lynda May Ayres b.1949 West London
May Ayres has lived and worked in the East End of London since 1975.
Studied at Harrow School of Art 1966-1969 and the Royal College of Art 1970-1973.
Drawing is the mainspring of my work – a strong and incisive tool for expression and communication. During the late 1960’s and early 1970’s I roamed the streets of London with my sketchbooks, drawing the homeless, the elderly, and other forgotten souls. I contrasted them with images of consumers shopping in busy high streets and the well-heeled men and women in the City.
The Thatcher years politicised me. Drawing became the means of recording the struggles against injustice and I joined demonstrations, political rallies and long protest marches sketching these important events.
I began searching for ways to develop my drawings into three dimensional form and in the late 1990’s started working in fired-clay. The medium intensified and deepened the drawing process enabling me to create a more powerful message by combining words and complex drawn imagery into the surface, interacting with the sculptural forms to give a deeper meaning.
The invasion of Iraq – the Shock and Awe debacle of 2003 – was the turning point for me. I was compelled to recreate in clay some of the experiences and stories of the suffering endured by innocent people as a result of this phoney ‘war on terror.’ As the carnage spread through the Middle East the sculptures, in line with my anger, grew ever larger.
These wars of aggression being waged by Western governments has been the focus of my work for the last 14 years.
There seems to be no end to the imperial and geopolitical ambitions of our Western leaders. I’ll continue questioning the official narratives and the propaganda spewing forth from a compliant media, and I will not stop trying to give expression and a voice to those rendered voiceless.
Portraiture though, remains fundamental to my expression. I have a deep fascination for how life experiences shape us. Constantly searching for inventive and revealing ways to portray those I know or have known, I try and find a unique sculptural form for each individual.