In an age distinctly lacking in romanticism or soul, it is hard to imagine people will ever look back on our present age and its people with the way we might look upon a Caravaggio, but the truth is that real life then was anything but romantic, and after all, Caravaggio's models were just people plucked from the streets - who can forget his images of angels and wise men with vividly dirty toenails?
In 2010 the series appeared at the Derby Museum and Art Gallery alongside the Joseph Wright collection. Wright himself was partly influenced by Caravaggio's Dutch followers, and painted real people during the industrial revolution. These are paintings of real humanity in contrast to 'the great and the good' who are the traditional subjects for oil paintings.
The juxtaposition of classical 'Fine Art' with the subject of 'Chavs' is immediately amusing, and therefore engaging, but belies its relevance. The medium and style of the work encourages the viewer to find gravitas and poignancy in the subjects. Elizabeth has taken something thought of as ugly, threatening or 'lowbrow' and found beauty in it. She has encouraged people to face their fears and has engaged a completely new audience who would probably never have had their portrait painted and who otherwise would never have set foot in a gallery. After all, entering an art gallery may be as intimidating for a "Chav" or "Hoody" as pushing past him to enter a shop is for an elderly shopper.