I have drawings of around a hundred forms collected together in a small blue book. Some of these forms are objects from the landscape – trees, bushes, rocks, mountains, lakes. Others are sharp-edged and geometric or more amorphous and blobby. Others are reminiscent of topiary or architecture. All the forms are real in that they obey gravity and are rooted to the ground. These forms (to steal Philip Guston’s idea) are my alphabet. Also in this book are drawings that have a different function. They are diagrams of how to organize the pictures (plot, island, field, glade, parterre and quincunx) – the syntax of my open-ended series of drawings.
There are other constants too: the paper is white and I use a black brush pen than provides an economical mark. The forms are plotted onto perspectival grid so that we have an aerial viewpoint over a territory that recedes deep into the distance. A strong evening light illuminates the drawing so that each form casts a long dark shadow.
In the studio, with these set constraints and door shut to other variables, I construct drawings of imagined exterior spaces. I think of them as drawings of gardens. Some are systematically planned with formal, abstract patterns. Others are allowed to become overgrown where the forms, like weeds, multiply and compete for space.
In making the drawings the forms’ contrasts of shape, tone, texture and ambiguity of scale demand my attention. Once completed, I can look down to survey a whole constructed world. I imagine being down on the ground exploring the pockets of space and paths between the details.
Qualifications and training
- 2002 MA (RCA) Painting, Royal College of Art, London
- 1998 BA (Hons) Fine Art - First Class, Cardiff School of Art (UWIC), Cardiff
- 2012 Fields and Gardens, Duckett and Jeffreys, North Yorkshire
- 2012 Fields and Gradens, Duckett and Jeffreys, North Yorkshire
- 2010 Forests, The Gallery @ Ryedale Folk Museum, Hutton-le-Hole, North Yorkshire
- 2009 Recent Drawings, Scarborough Art Gallery, Scarborough, North Yorkshire
- 2011 Group Show, Lund Gallery, Easingwold
- 2009 Testament, Triton Gallery, Sledmere
- 2010 Selector/ Curator East Coast Open, Scarborough Art Gallery, Scarborough, North Yorkshire
Competitions, prizes and awards
- 2009 Longlisted Artist Northern Art Prize 2009