the Artist

I am a British artist working in paper and paint. I studied art in London, initially at the Sir John Cass School of Art, and then at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, majoring in sculpture. My early exhibited work, at venues within the UK and abroad, was in box pictures and figure drawing. Supported initially by work as a senior product designer I was able to fund and develop my artistic practice. My interest in working in paper has evolved quite naturally over this time to my current absorption with this challenging medium.

the Work

Unlike paint, paper is not a fluid medium, as such it demands a particular consciousness of edge, line and shape. Initially my approach was to work only with the paper. This became limiting, especially with regard to colour, and introducing paint into the process has developed quite naturally. The work is an exploration in which subject, medium and process are inextricably interconnected.

Paper is brittle, fragile, delicate, and yet it can also be surprisingly robust and resilient, as such it is an ideal medium for some of the themes I keep returning to: revelation, exposure, fragility and resilience, memory. For some time I’ve been working on a series exploring facades – primarily building facades.  I’m intrigued by what is hidden or revealed by a facade, what traces remain of the human histories which a building has contained and what the effects are of passing time on its structure and substance.  The most recent spin off from this series is the Lattice series I’m currently engaged in.  

Lattices fascinate me because they are not only about meshes or grids, which join at particular junctions, but can be 3 dimensional arrangements – they reference both surface and subsurface in an image. What the eye puts together of the elements in the image can be disrupted or formalised by the lattice and any layering can give the work added depth.  As a consequence of this series the work has increasingly become more painterly. I work on board and paper, painting component layers which are then assembled on to the painted surface.  I’m intrigued by the paradox of the fluidity of the paint when working these layers and their transformation into hard edged shapes and forms when assembled on the painted surface. With my background in sculpture I am drawn to the physical act of constructing the painting, and the conscious interplay of depth, edge, surface, colour and shape.  The painted lattice-like layers are structured in such a way as to partially conceal the underlying surfaces, constraining what is exposed or what might be revealed.  This dialectic between medium and process helps to foreground the human centred themes of vulnerability, privacy, concealment, access, endurance – expressed through the form of landscape, both inner and outer.

People have asked me what my influences are.  Well, everything really.  The work never really stops, it continues in one’s head all the time; when I’m exploring a particular subject, then anything in everyday life, which is relevant to that subject, becomes a source.  And so it is with influence from other artists past and present, and not forgetting the works of one of my favourite poets, Theodore Roethke.  

The work and the processes constantly evolve – it doesn’t always make for a relaxed inner life!