This quirky and charming character Joel is based on a personal experience by Shazia, of a misunderstood little boy who turned out to be a life-long friend.
Her contemporary art work is instantly recognisable with the focus on children. Each piece is told like a story, revealing each character and emotion through a single snap shot.
“My painted little characters are presented like the typical portrait paintings of old; quite still and ordinary. Yet there is plenty about them that is peculiar. An unsettling charm made all the more apparent by their enigmatic gaze. They are vulnerable in scale, sharing neither their proportions or their features. Their sizable heads and characteristic hair, dominate the canvas, equalled only by the charming nervousness revealed within the peripheral ‘full stop’ eyes that stare blankly back. The absence of a mouth perhaps gives you the impression that they are essentially solitary and lonely characters, devoid of communication. But this is not to say they are unloved or isolated; rather they provide sentiments of hope joy, sadness and loss. Even as they are being painted, their characters become apparent to me; a snapshot of a moment or a feeling considered. They are in essence a tensely guarded connection to a benign world summoned by the passing of time. They are carefully preserved, given existence and above all loved.” - Shazia