Notorious: Christopher John MacRae Whitty CB FRCP FFPH FMedSci (2021)
This piece started off with a doodled mind map of Whitty’s actions during the Covid 19
pandemic. His life story is incredibly compelling. But the starting point is one of hard work, wanting to help others and a base level of privilege which has allowed him to become one of the most important and recognised figures within the UK over the past two years.
Adam Hayley aka.AD13:. (b1984 Stockport UK) graduated from the University of Salford in 2008 with First Class Honours. He attended Edge Hill University to obtain his PGCE and is currently the Head of Art at Cheadle Hulme School, Stockport. In 2008 he won the Mooch Artist of the Year Prize judged by Peter Saville and Wayne Hemingway, subsequently being commissioned to paint Wayne’s portrait. After an interview on the XFM breakfast show in 2009, Adam was commissioned to paint the portrait of Mancunian legend Clint Boon (Inspiral Carpets), with Clint commenting, “this guy’s
work is genius!”. In 2022 he was shortlisted for the ‘People’s Choice Award’ at the Stockport Open competition with his painting of Boris Johnson on a pan entitled ‘The Great Panhandler Claps for Carers’. Visitors were encouraged to clap for carers whilst simultaneously hitting Boris in the face with a wooden spoon.
Adam’s work explores the context surrounding Britishness, stereotypes and how we identify with our British identity (or his perceived lack of it). Through humour, his current and predominant focus is upon politics and documenting ‘The State of It’. This body of work aims to document the key political moments of the 2020s as we navigate the subsequent carnage and tumult of post-pandemic Britain. The evolution of international politics, the threat to western democracy, and the loosening of state regulation against the roaring backdrop of social media and mainstream commentary.
In a highly polarised and populist governed world, his work aims to seek both sides of the story and find the common ground in the argument. Sometimes it simply aims to call out the bad stuff. Adam believes that the future hinges on finding balance and carefully negotiated compromise. Will our politicians let this happen?
The next decade promises to be a truly defining period in this century, and through this work, he hopes to document a small perspective of it. Failing that, it’ll gather dust in his attic.
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