Recently I have sought to respond to the 2010 'Deepwater Horizon' oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. In previous work I have used a variety of materials to fabricate evidence of passing events, displaying the results as if they were valued relics. This time I have created contemporary treasure cabinets whose contents carry meaning in the manner of seventeenth century 'Vanitas' paintings, which incorporated symbols of mortality or mutability. Joseph Cornell's boxes and the artist Susan Hiller have also influenced my work.
Searching for an appropriate medium to acknowledge a maritime event, I was drawn to the old whalers' technique of scrimshaw. The cabinet doors carry synthetic ivory panels, finely engraved with images of the disaster selected from press and official images that were current as the sequence of events unfolded.
Previous work includes 'Making a Mark' an installation made up of a variety of artworks in a range of media. I realised that most of life happens in between an occasional thrilling, joyful or catastrophic event, our lives trickling by as we await the next excitement. Our daily chores are dismissed because they are mundane and repetitive. Yet monotonous tasks consume so much of our time and are so necessary, I decided that they deserve some thought. After every major event there will always be some clearing up.
If our clearing up is effective then by its very nature it will leave no trace, and yet it is of huge cultural significance, society would surely fail if all the little tasks were not completed. 'Making a Mark' celebrated this constant effort. Using a wide range of materials I fabricated evidence of these small actions, sometimes revealing their very personal nature. As appropriate I displayed the results as if they were anthropological or archaeological evidence or valued relics, to offer significance to the overlooked parts of our lives.
CV & Education
Qualifications and training
2005 - Multidisciplinary printmaking, University of the West of England, Bristol
2011 - 159th Autumn Exhibition, Royal West of England Academy, Bristol
2011 - Treasures & Souvenirs, The Tobacco Factory Cafe/Bar, Bristol
2006 - New Designers Graduate Show, The Business Design Centre, London
2006 - Significant Spaces, The Create Centre, Bristol
2005 - 152 Annual Autumn Open Exhibition, Royal West of England Academy, Bristol
2005 - Home Life, Invited Exhibition, Stroud House Gallery, Stroud, Gloucestershire
2004 - Society of Graphic Fine Art Annual Open Drawing Exhibition, Hotbath Gallery, Bath
2004 - The Home Ideal Show, Invited Exhibition, Eshoda Arts, Hotbath Gallery, Bath
2003 - The Portrait, Investigations of the Self, Invited Touring Exhibition, University of the West of England and other universities, UK and USA