They Take Our Jobs
272cm x 172cm, oil and acrylic on board with LED flashing light sequence, 2017-18
Executed specifically for an exhibition on immigration to Scotland, They Take Our Jobs references a common statement made against migrant groups living in the country. As migration was given in surveys as the main reason that the British population voted to leave the European Union in the referendum in 2016, the flashing light sequence asks the viewer to consider where they lie in the argument. Are they ‘concerned’ or ‘unconcerned’ by immigrants living and working in the UK?
Having been employed for many years in part-time jobs with many New Scots, the portraits add a personal dimension to the work. They depict migrant colleagues who have become friends over the years. They do indeed take jobs in this country but to what extent does that matter?