Interview by Peta-Ann Smith, Jan. 26, 2009
PS: Based on your displayed work, the figures appear to be dressed as high-ranking Catholic clergymen. Did the fairly recent child abuse scandal that rocked the Catholic Church inspire this particular piece?
OW: Yes the recent events have influenced me to do works examining the role of the clergy and religion on a whole. But then what really did it for me was the film ‘Deliver us from Evil’ which was a biopic on a clergy man who molested kids at whichever church he went and the cover ups surrounding it.
PS: Did the subject matter of the work influence your choice of media? If so, in what manner?
b) If the subject matter bore no influence on choice of media, what inspired you to select these particular materials rather that use traditional canvas?
OW: Yes it did to an extent, the cloth, wood and the nails where all symbolic of the Catholicism. However the wood was mostly found due to constraints in the project and to off- set cost of the work. The wood was lying everywhere especially since the school was under going minor constructions. So I made use of what my environment could afford me. The cloth was also was interesting experiment in it self.
PW: Given the controversial nature of the work, especially when one considers the events of the past five years, do you think you'll revisit this subject in future pieces?
OW: Yes I would but it would be used as sort of linkages between ideas. Besides there are so many dimensions to the topic and a historical context which I feel could be explored more in depth. But I wouldn’t want to replicate the same works again in terms of the structure and forms that they took. I believe that the works would have worked better as an installation.
PW: Have you considered other themes and/or subjects that you would like to explore in your future pieces? If so, would you be willing to give us an idea of what you'd like to examine next?
OW: Hard to say ... the current financial situation of the world is always a stimulus because it affects every one on so many levels.
What I am watching right now is the conflict in Gaza and how that plays out. It has more effect on me right now. The battle happening there is a historic and an old one and has not been resolved for thousands of years. But its hard to say right now. But I am interested in doing a piece focusing on issues closer to home.
PW: Apart from different subjects, are there any media that you'd like to utilise in the future? If so, which media do you think will be the most challenging and possibly the most rewarding?
OW: I’ve always wanted to do digital media because of ability to be visually agile. It can enable me to explore a range of issues and techniques and maybe even venture into filmmaking.