I have been painting seriously since 2010. Before deciding to be an full time artist I had ‘drawn’ abstract compositions in black ink on white paper. I was inspired by the work of Henri Michaux and Chinese Taoist ink painting. Many of my current paintings are a continuation of this activity.
My work explores types and possibilities of pictorial order, intelligibility and meaning. Even the most abstract forms have associations, and it is difficult to look at any painted form without seeking a horizon, a sense of weight, or direction of light. It is these perceptual demands, coupled with the richness of the associative imagination that abstraction allows, which fascinate me.
Painting allows a spontaneous working style. Each image is of itself, and must stand by itself. Each painting is a journey that begins from a different place and ends in yet another, holding and releasing.
Each image is the record of a process of imaginative uncovering. Painting has a moral dimension of openness, care, and investigation, which it invites the viewer to share. It is a variety of meditational practice, and it demands from the viewer that all presuppositions are dropped and the image is regarded with an open mind and spirit. Art is the meeting point of infinite possibility with subjective necessity.
The contrast of black and white allows for the limits of perception to be explored in a direct way. Often the negotiation of the marks with the void stretches the visual coherence of space and form to its limit. Sometimes energetic forms emerge. Both are charged with the emotional force of the barely seen, the barely knowable. Places come and go, spaces hover on the edge of possibility. Unknowing, unknowable, but recalling something wonderful, perhaps something best forgotten. A peace, a loosing of identity, a tangled condensation. The ridiculous and the clumsy, the hopeless and the serene. Hoping, demanding, rejecting, waiting, slipping, standing, pointing.
One of the most elusive and interesting struggles is to find the balancing point in which the work has both powerful allusions to the world of objective experience, a real emotional depth, and the self-sufficiency and richness in the abstract values of self relation across the picture plane to ensure that long viewing remains rewarding.
Underneath the abstract open structures of the images there are often latent images of the world, animated forms, landscapes, faces. While these are important to the images they are not the essential, the whole of the work is itself.
I am not concerned with conceptual issues directly, instead interpretative ideas are entertained lightly with a constant vigilance to keep looking.
Colours are sometimes visually present and sensual, sometimes drawers of the elemental, and sometimes more distant and symbolic.
I have done some landscape paintings in oil on paper. These were based on photographs taken while hiking in the Swiss Alps. Landscape is a home where nobody lives. The forces of nature: wind, snow, earth, rock, plants and animals renegotiate it every moment. It is indifferent to us. It is jubilation; it is the end and the beginning. It is everything and nothing. It is shelter and destruction. Nature remains a presence in my abstracts.
I began throwing pots while making metal sculpture at the workshops of the Colchester Institute in 2014. The wheels were not being used and I thought I would have a go. I discovered the delight in working with clay, its simplicity, its delicacy, joined with the excitement of working at the wheel, its possibilities, demands and sometimes dramas. To be able to communicate very directly quite complex intuitions, through quite simple, usable and affordable objects, was an unexpected boon. The work of the Chinese and Japanese traditions in producing work that is both made to be lived with and deeply felt is inspiring. I hope be able to work that sensibility and simplicity. But technical demands are high and the glaze firing never completely predictable. It demands patience and acceptance.
If you are interesting in buying or exhibiting work, or giving me feedback, please do so through the ‘contact’ link.
This website does not show all my work, and some works might no longer be available.