My childhood on the Isle of Wight inspired me to work from the elemental landscape and world around me as a very free, direct and natural way of open learning and enquiry - I grew up influenced by the painter David Bomberg and his sense of approaching nature through drawing as a tool to establish a poetry of 'form' as an interconnected reality.
Whilst I understand 'contemporary' through its notions and contexts of treating painting as a 'concept' and a 'product of modernity' with its uses as metaphors of materiality or its semiotics and attendant psychological theories as cultural appropriations for curatorial projects and ideas. I am interested in a poiesis of painting and what it actually means to paint - whenever - and whatever its ecological conditions, as a mark and/or form of individual,collective ,timeless and communicable production.
I was born in London from a mixed ancestry typical of the Whitechapel area of the East End with its successive waves of religious, refugee and industrial workers over a very long period of time. In recent years this transgenerational and cultural knowledge has become an important key to my imaginative and structural elements in painting as a reflective source on the conditions of individuals and their collective histories and experiences in relation to the diasporas -the places that are left and those that are arrived in - which embody a sense of belonging to more than one history , to more than one time and place, more than one past and future, belonging to both here and there, now and then, of pain,of loss, of displacement and the possiblities in new regenerations. The painters and poets who have worked with this kind of background both consciously and unconsciously interest me in relation to the cultural contexts they emerge within and the nature of painting as an eduring 'language'.
I work on several paintings simultaneously over a long period of time - a system of gathering, layering, excavation and application alongside smaller studies on paper. I have kept on-going journals for many years which collect together the fragments of the 'things' that hold my interest - which become the catalysts for the paintings, these are best described as a 'poetics' - they contain the stories in which I understand or try to understand identity and belonging , or not belonging , through cultural forms: through representation as in etymologies, genre, myth, novel, poem, allegory, parable, anecdote, sayings, metaphors, puns and riddles - a mosaic.
I read widely and occasionally esoterically - and when unable to find the places or/and the means I might need to be able to exhibit the paintings - I continue to work, learn and correspond with other people, writers, poets and painters with who I find a common ground.
Qualifications and training
- 1999 Post Grad Diploma Fine Art, UWE, Bristol
- 1997 BA Hons Degree/Fine Art, Bower Ashton UWE, Bristol
- 2008 Exhibition of smaller works, Schoolhouse Gallery Morvah, Cornwall
- 2007 Mythological Paintings, Northcote House Gallery, University of Exeter
- 2007 'Eventually I went to live across the sea' [Monsoons -Neruda], Quay Arts, Isle of Wight
- 2006 Oviedo Paintings, Shires Yard, Bath
- 1994 Paintings, Veale Wasborough, Bristol
- 2012 Harbour 21, Grant Bradley Gallery, Bristol
- 2012 Paintings, Art at the Heart Gallery, Bath Royal United Hospital
- 2011 Open studios, Spike Island, Bristol
- 2010 Open Studios, Spike Island, Bristol
- 2008 Open studios, Spike Island, Bristol
- 2006 Exhibition paintings, Brownston Gallery, Modbury, Devon
- 2005 Small Originals, Gallery 22, Ashburton, Devon
- 2004 On the Wall, Olympia, London
- 2002 Paintings, Spanish Barn, Torquay, Devon
- 2009 Residency, Mertola, Portugal
Competitions, prizes and awards
- 2010 Oppenheim - John Downes, Trust Awards, London
- 2008 Oppenheim John Downes Memorial Trust, Artist Trust, London
- 2006 Oppenhiem John Downes Award, Artist Trust, London
- 2011 Public Catalogue Foundation [in collection listing]
- 2011 EAJC grant award , shortlisted for grant to exhibit 'A Sephardic Journey', Museu Casa Guerra Junquiera, Porto, Portugal
- 2010 Chora - paintings/studies, Alverton Gallery, Penzance
- 2010 On-going development and integration of Portuguese collaboration and residency work, Top Floor Studio,Spike Island, Bristol
- 2009 artist collaborations, Porto, Lisbon, Mertola, Portugal
- 2006 Romanticism,Environment,Crisis conference., University of Wales, Aberystwyth