Jonathan Yeo

The Crisis Commission



‘The Park Bench (After Gainsborough)’ was created for an exhibition initiated by Crisis, the homeless charity, in which artists were challenged to highlight the plight of homelessness and dispossession. Based on the famously awkward composition of the Gainsborough painting ‘Mr and Mrs Andrews’, this work ironically reverses the familiar attempts of eighteenth century portraiture to elevate someone’s status through a demonstration of wealth and possessions. Yeo’s version relocates the scene to a grimy, urban landscape and replaces the wealthy, landowning figures of the original painting with two people associated with the charity; one of whom is holding a crutch in replacement of a gun. 

Other artists involved in the project included Anthony Gormley, Gillian Wearing, Yinka Shonibare, Tracey Emin and Bob and Roberta Smith.