My work is a reflection of an internal world, where images function metaphorically and symbolically, as in dreams, memory and the unconscious. There are recurring motifs of landscape, vegetation, human and animal forms, as well as abstract paint marks. I see the work as an exploration of the fluid and permeable nature of perception.
An ongoing theme of investigation, both in the form and the content of the work, is the idea that the natural always exists as a construct. There is an awareness of the impossibility of pure nature, coupled with a longing for it. There is a desire, knowingly unattainable, for a direct connection to origin and authenticity.
The paintings prominently display signs of their making, reflecting a position of their self-awareness. The works are both process based, and representational, figurative and abstract. Paint marks in the work are descriptive, but also often function in themselves as illusory objects within the picture plane, with the own physicality remaining dominant.
In a recent series, I have been using the motif of the cave, to stand in for the unconscious mind. The cave is a space that is both of the landscape, and yet enclosed, inside. It refers to and internal, the inside of the body. Forms, figures, creatures are suggested in the rock formations, and I am interested in the possibility of the viewer being able to project onto these implied forms their own associations and interpretations, as with Rorschach inkblot tests.
Another recent series is based on the gardens at Versailles. I am interested in gardens as places constructed from natural elements, but which are highly artificial, theatrical, and are statements about power and control, of which the gardens that Louis XIV had created at Versailles are an absolute archetype. Such gardens are real places that exist in the world, but are also works of art, and are removed from the world. I have been employing the images of these French gardens as metaphors for façade and to create images that conjure up a lurking, seething, dark sense that there is another reality hidden behind their immaculately poised artificiality.
CV & Education
Qualifications and training
2005 - MA Painting, Royal College of Art, London
1994 - BA Fine Art Photography, Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow
2009 - Internal Geometry, The Drawing Room at St George's Hall, Liverpool
2008 - Mime 1, Transition Gallery, London
2012 - O / A Stiff Bandeau, Tricycle Theatre Gallery, London
2011 - Fries Material, Weltraum Gallery, Munich, Germany
2011 - Interspaces, SunBear Gallery at Patriothall Gallery, Edinburgh
2011 - The Count of Monte Cristo: The Island of True Stories, Phoenix Gallery, Exeter
2008 - Future 50, Project Space Leeds, Leeds
2008 - Living Walls of Jet, Ceri Hand Gallery, Liverpool
2007 - Studio Voltaire Open, Studio Voltaire, London
2006 - Baroque My World, Transition Gallery, London
2006 - Territory, University of the Arts Gallery, London
Competitions, prizes and awards
2011 - Marmite Painting Prize, Nunnery, London , and Tour to Coventry and Tameside
2010 - Exeter Contemporary Open, Phoenix Gallery, Exeter
2010 - Jerwood Contemporary Painters, Jerwood Space, Project Space Leeds, Durham Art Gallery, London, Leeds, Durham