My research is located in the practices of drawing and related paper based practices, and is concerned with observation, natural form and the tension between man-made and natural, the slippage between culture and nature.
Currently I am working on a series of drawings of plants (Cactus, Pitcher, Savoy etc), with the intention of adding other organisms or forms of life. I am interested in botanical drawing, historically and how this might become a genre of contemporary relevance and status within fine art practices. Ambiguity and projection, as well as anthropomorphic aspects, form part of the intentions behind my most recent ongoing project: multiple installation drawings of specially adapted plants with a visually hybrid form (Cacticomposite - ongoing 2013 ongoing). This most recent work connects with still life and botanical observation from an earlier period of my life. I am interested in re-learning the language of close detailed observation. I have included earlier examples of still life to explain the relationship between current work and that of my past.
Weather Drawings (2009) form a body of work which started with observations of the sky from an upstairs window. These daily records formed the research background to a body of exhibition drawings and a series of etchings. In some ways they form a link between botanical drawing and the genre landscape, as both are based on a quasi-scientific recording system, but without the intention to create objective data as a result. Neither do I intend to develop objective visual data with the botanical work.
Much of my landscape drawing is concerned with memory, sense of place and situations of redundancy. Landscapes industrial, urban, post industrial, rural and remote, are recorded through drawing and photo based media. Mostly I work from observation with a sketchbook and sometimes with the camera. The series of works about Belfast Docks and the North of Scotland (Dounreay) pay homage to the significance of a site to local collective memory, yet allows for a subjective and metaphorical reading as transient and evocative of loss. The research project NORTH was funded by the Vikky Oppenheimer-Blum Travel Bursary (1999/2000). It enabled me to base drawings, writings and photos on site visits to the North of Scotland. The publication NORTH (2005, Cumbria Institute of the Arts) documents some of the findings. More recently two installation drawings of enormous proportions dealt with the tensions of romanticism and contemporary agri and horticulture in rural Britain. Hortus and Nursery were both installed and exhibited at Leitrim Scultpure Centre in 2012.
- 2003 Dounreay, Dean Clough, Halifax
- 1996 Swan Theatre, Worcester
- 1994 Gallerie Unique, Hameln, Germany
- 2011 Weather Drawings, Graffan Gallery, WWT Centre Castle Espie, Co Down
- 2010 All Over the Place, The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, University of Leeds
- 2009 Eros/Thanatos, Engramme, Quebec, Canada
- 2009 2nd Bangkok Triennale International Print and Drawing Exhibition, Silpakorn University, Bangkok, Thailand
- 2009 Seven, Foyer Gallery, University of Ulster, University of Ulster Belfast
- 2008 All Over the Place: Drawing Place, Drawing Space, Land 2 group exhibition at University of West of England, Bristol
- 2008 127th Annual Exhibition, Royal Ulster Academy of Arts, Titanic Drawing Offices, Belfast
- 2007 Array Studio Group Exhibition, Island Arts Centre, Lisburn, Northern Ireland
- 2006 Exchange of Belfast Printworkshop with LA Printmaking Society, Greanleaf Gallery, Whittier College, Los Angeles, USA
- 2005 WWII airport photos/Dounreay, Folly Gallery, Lancaster
- 2004 North: Dounreay drawings, Lyth Arts Centre, Lyth/Wick, Caithness
- 2003 Brewery Open, Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal
- 2001 Eastern Open, Kings Lynn
- 1999 Drawing Connections, John Innes Centre/Kansas State University, Norwich, GB and Kansas, USA
- 1995 Memory and Glimpses, Icon Gallery, Birmingham
- 1993 Towards a new landscape, Coventry Gallery, London
- 2005 Drawing on Landscape, Symposium Sculptors Society Ireland & Burren College of Art, Burren College, County Clare, Ireland
- 2005 Antrim Road (text), ABRIDGED 2, Oct/Nov 05, Context Gallery, Derry, Northern Ireland
- 2005 NORTH (artist book: travel writing and drawing), Cumbria Unipress, Cumbria Institute of the Arts, Carlisle
- 2001 Photography online workshop (Research contributor), Accessart, www.accessart.org.uk
- 2000 Looking through the Ground Glass (text), Sleep of Reason (exhibition) Norwich Gallery, Norwich School of Art and Design
- 2000 The Status of Drawing (text), Connections, (publication), Norwich School of Art and Design, Norwich