It was initially going to be purely based on ‘The Dark Knight’ film with the wonder of Heath Ledger but for me personally from watching the most recent ‘Joker’ movie and being left completely open mouthed by the pure brilliance of the brutality and the utter sadness of the character and what happened to him, it took on a different form.
So, it started with a ‘Storyteller’ style piece where it’s this abandoned, derelict building that’s depicted as the asylum but done in a way that takes it to a whole different level by showing the characters. It’s a classic darkness and light concept that I love to work with and showing how closely that they can reside within a person, within a building, within their four walls. That was the aim to create something really dark, really beautiful but in a completely different way through showing the characters and touching on the battles that are going on within their heads and what that can ultimately lead to.
The decision to introduce the characters was a big one, it can spoil a piece, but the aim was to have them so that they are literally bleeding out onto the canvas, with sheer emotion that’s captured through the detailing. The idea being with the asylum is that it’s so difficult to leave but so easy to return and that takes on so many meanings.
This piece shows that contrast between the pure, sinister side of the Heath Ledger character where he’s absolutely seething within the shadows but then in complete contrast, we go across to Joaquin Phoenix where he’s totally lost in his own world. There’s no acknowledgement to the destruction that he’s causing, no remorse but ultimately happier and it’s showing how that can completely escalate and morph through. It’s been a wonderful piece to work on, one that has particular poignancy to me and I’m sure to many others.