Why I love figurative painting today. Unlike the Middle Ages, when images were precious, we are inundated with jpegs and social media snapshots, which get a fleeting glance and are then discarded. Painting has a radical new role: it adds a layer of time, contemplation and introspection to an image. The very process of making a mark on a canvas, which just makes sense to me as a basic human gesture, is meditative and considered. Paintings demand the viewer to gaze intently and engage with the feelings and meanings that the artist has poured into them.
What interests me is the human condition- what it feels like to be alive today. In our complex and often superficial culture, how do we relate, in a meaningful way, to one another? I often choose the human figure, the most obvious yet complicated source for inspiration, looking at groups of people, that like constellations, are aligned just for a moment in a formation that communicates the sense of belonging or alienation we all feel.
Working from photographs and images from the Internet, modern-day technology is not rejected but incorporated into my working method. An image leaps out and feelings and memories are projected onto it, composition and colour study follow.
Painting is an intense and challenging occupation, with its slower rhythm and the way it often leads to mistakes and failure, all of which give it an intimate connection to the human condition.