Originally an actor, my sense of narrative, space and memory is colored by the intense experience of the performance process, while my creative drive is rooted in the actors drive for empathy.
Mimesis (the mirroring of our world) is fundamental to all art forms and particularly visible within realist art or theatre. Exploring my observations through painting, and driven to understand the people I meet by re-creating them through the acting process has enabled me to begin to pinpoint and alleviate a personal sense of alienation arising from my detachment and ignorance both of others in the world and myself.
In translation, the Old Germanic word for 'ugly' originally suggested the veiling of truths. This encapsulates the concept behind my work, since the intuitive focuses of my observations tend to represent repressed or hidden aspects of myself- personally experienced areas of disconnection. The ongoing integration within myself through the process results in political messages within the work becoming non-judgmental.
Experiencing this has led me to begin to question and specify, particularly through verbatim performance, realist painting and drawing, how the progressive potential of mimesis might be developed in the wider community and within education, where this instinctive human drive seems undervalued.
Consistent themes within my work are escapist elements within human behavior and the tendency towards segregation. Examples of specific themes I’ve explored would be the heavy reliance on identity, religion or nostalgia. I often query what lies behind socially acceptable behavior that can also seem nonsensical.
The inanimate object, or space implying significantly absent humans, is the most common thread within my imagery. Surprisingly and significantly, the metaphorical empty chair is not to be found in folklore, making the Empty chair imagery specific to the human condition in a post-industrial society. The chairs represent people held back by belief systems, which perpetuate alienation in society.
The Small Town series explores and questions the intoxicating allure of miniature spaces/ objects at various scales. Attraction to ‘collectables’ could possibly develop escapist and consumerist (alienating) activity within the collector. However, through interviewing collectors at trade shows, I discovered that creative potential can often develop within the enthusiastic collector. It’s not unusual for collectors to run 50 separate dolls houses in real time. Collectors often link the houses and inhabitants to one another historically or geographically, creating individual characters and storylines, and hand-make many items or props themselves. The majority of visitors to miniature trade fairs are women over 60, and many are wheelchair bound. Yet there are exceptions, such as the heavily guarded, combat-attired Middle-Eastern leader, whose dolls house hobby supports a vast majority trading within the miniature industry. A common desire for creative escapism (play) links them all.
Qualifications and training
- 2012 MA Painting, Royal College of Art, London
- 2011 BA (Hons) Fine Art, Hereford College of Art, Hereford
- 2014 Exhibition planned, MAC, Birmingham
- 2013 Empty Chairs, The Institute of Art and Ideas, Hay on Wye
- 2013 REACT, Dilston Grove, London
- 2013 Secret Postcard, Dyson Gallery, London
- 2013 Notes to Self, Dyson Gallery, London
- 2013 Interim Show, Royal College of Art, Henry Moore Gallery, London
- 2012 Ludlow Open, Ludlow, .
- 2012 Candid arts (London), Universitat der Kunste, Berlin
- 2011 Terry Frost Gallery, Kings School, Worcester
- 2010 Porcelain Museum, Worcester
- 2010 Cork Street Open, Cork Street Gallery, London
- 2009 Autumn Exhibition, Royal West of England Academy, Bristol
Competitions, prizes and awards
- 2013 Shortlisted for New Contemporaries, ICA, London
- 2012 Windsor and Newton scholarship, RCA, London
- 2012 Elmley Foundation, Award, .
- 2011 New graduate award, The Drawing Gallery, Hereford
- 2010 Judges prize, awarded by The Drawing Gallery, Hereford Open
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