Central to my practice is the notion of a painting as a cultural artefact. At first these are paintings about paintings; images that oscillate between artefact and artifice. The painted objects refer to histories that are at once beyond the grasp of the viewer yet also accessible through the surface on which the painting is rendered. As such, they act as witnesses to events that we have not and cannot be part of. Indeed, the surfaces themselves are part of that speculative history as I mostly paint on wood sourced from historical archives.
American poet and literary critic, Susan Stewart argues: “We need and desire souvenirs of events that are reportable, events whose materiality has escaped us, events that only exist through the invention of narrative.”
My most recent work strongly references a tradition of illusionistic painting that proliferated in Northern Europe from about 1600. A specific form of illusionism called quodlibet (what you will). From here I paint an array of selected objects that on first glance appear to be ‘pinned’ or ‘taped’ in low relief only later to reveal themselves as artiface. Certain questions emerge about the craft of the artist, materials and archiving of objects. Questions also implicit in the paintings of Lisa Milroy and Matthew Weir yet explicit in the paintings of Lucy McKenzie.
The notion of authenticity is central to my artistic enquiry. I find myself looking for evidence of ‘the real thing’. I look for the craftsman’s hand on the salvaged wood or the singular mark of an unknown author on a postcard or letter, as Jean Baudrillard wrote in The System of Objects: “We are fascinated by what has been created…because the moment of creation cannot be reproduced.”
And yet, despite a meticulous nature in their representations and the sense of authority communicated by their display, the historical veracity of these objects are in constant doubt.
CV & Education
2012 MA Fine Art, Wimbledon School of Art
2002 BA Fine Art (Hons) Painting, Glasgow School of Art.
1998 Leith School of Art, Edinburgh.
2012 Guest Tutor Leith School of Art, Edinburgh
2010 Co-Founder / Director MorphÄ“ Arts Trust
2003-2009 Founder Member Sparks Art Collaborative
// Solo Exhibitions:
2013 Danish Departed, Husk Gallery, Limehouse, London
2013 Strike, Carmelite Cafe at The Nunnery Gallery, London
2012 Art and Artists, Departure, Limehouse, London.
2012 I (Heart) Leith, Leith School of Art, Edinburgh
Current: Artist in Residence for Departure Arts Centre, Limehouse, London
2013 Artist in Residence for Carmelite Cafe at The Nunnery Gallery, Bow Arts Trust, London.
2011 Artist in Residence for the Leith School of Art, Edinburgh
2011 Artist in Residence for European Leadership Forum, Hotel Eger, Eger, Hungary.
2012 Landmark PLC, London
2012 Carmelite Cafe, Bow Arts Trust, London
2012 Ahmanson Collection, Los Angeles
2009 Royal Bank of Scotland Collection
2002 Glasgow School of Art Alumni Collection
2013 My Hyperreal Religious Experience, article for Time and Place journal, Newcastle
2012 Beyond Air Guitar, published by Piquant Editions 2012
// Selected Group Exhibitions:
2013 Shadow and Substance, Durham University and The Holy Biscuit, Newcastle.
2013 Monochrome, Husk Gallery, Limehouse, London
2012 Selected for Recent Graduates Exhibition, Affordable Art Fair, Battersea.
2012 Shortlisted for Cornerhouse Commission, Manchester.
2012 Wimbledon School of Art MA Show
2012 Sacred Space, Biola University, Los Angeles
2012, Wunderkammer, The Nunnery, Bow Arts Trust, London
2011 No.1 Paint, Blankspace, Manchester
2011 What Goes Around, Hotel Eger, Hungary
2011 Relief, B&A Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
2011 Futura Oblique, Wimbledon MA Interim Exhibition, Nunnery Gallery, London
2011 Coated: Above and Beyond the Surface of Paint, Crypt Gallery, London
2011 Ordinary Time, St Barnabas Church, London
2010 Salad, Wimbledon MA Group Exhibition
2010 Solas: Centre for Contemporary Christianity, Dundee
2009 Beyond the Horizon, House Gallery, Camberwell, London.
2008 Art House at UCCF Forum event, Oswestry
2008 Mile End Arts Pavilion, London.
2008 New Works, Wallspace, London (with Sparks)
2007 Epitaph, St Leonards Church (with Sparks for the Shoreditch Festival)
2006 (in)Complete, Bearspace, Deptford (with Sparks)
2003 Greenbelt Arts Festival.
2002 Complete Me, Assembly Gallery, Glasgow
2002 Glasgow School of Art Degree Show