If you ever want to see some of Michelle Thompson’s work you rarely have to look further than your local newsagents. Her work regularly adorns the pages of papers like Guardian and The Economist, covering every topic from the Theory of Evolution to revenge porn.
However, for anyone who was looking for a slightly more permanent fixture (or simply at a loose end after picking up their weekly groceries at Fortnum & Mason) a quick trip to the recent Royal Academy of Art’s Summer Exhibition would have revealed a familiar name on the wall.
“The Journey” was originally submitted to the RA in February, after a friend of Michelle’s was suddenly forced to leave her home and family along with thousands of others.
The piece was created on the week that the Ukraine War started. A friend who I had met through NFTs was in Kiev and had to leave her husband with two small children - hence “The Journey” title.
Michelle’s work is often responsive, and has her voice layered within her found and altered images - weaving narrative amongst the textures she is so well known for. When the assault on Ukraine began, for Michelle the personal connection made it impossible to separate from her work.
For the first time I knew people that were affected, all my personal work in the next couple of weeks seemed to be really dark.
“The Journey” isn’t Michelle’s first piece to be selected for the RA’s annual event - her collage “The Red Dress”, created on the back of one of her grandad's sketchbooks, was shown in 2020. If you missed the exhibition, never fear! You can get your very own limited edition print here.