The paintings in Bringing Home Baby depict the meeting of innocent babyhood with a prevailing, if idiosyncratic, culture: a hound dog in knitwear watches two men happily knitting, while a girl gives a baby a heart; a sunburnt dad holds his baby in one arm while barbecuing with the other, as a blue teen buries his face behind a bejewelled, sunbathing mom; a carefree man slouches behind a fashionable baby shower overhung by a matador painting; hotel guests conglomerate around a distressed baby while more guests arrive by ship and jet.  The absurd, dreamlike quality of these settings evokes the strangeness of these new worlds for the babies, and is suggestive of the complex processes by which culture defines and imposes the identity that will shape a baby’s life.

The series follows on my sculptural work, Newborns/Swaddled (Harcourt House, Edmonton, Alberta, March/April 2019), which showed babies in isolation, yet to be impressed by cultural values, traditions and beliefs. In Bringing Home Baby, the babies have been brought across the border from raw innocence into fully developed, and perhaps inescapable, milieus.