So much of my work is metaphorically autobiographical, exploring the interplay between life and art – my inner world. Stimulated by the exchange and interaction of ideas, I work between the boundaries of reality and imagination looking outward from inside; a synthesis of memory, myth and the psychology of intimacy. To me, the physical act of creation evokes ancient archetypes, totems, and mythical rites that create a calculated catharsis that challenges concepts of beauty and perceptions of truth and reality. My art explores the emotional effects of the unconscious; bringing into play a visual mashup of universal symbols, mysterious landscapes and biomorphic forms that connects directly to my sexuality, spiritual awareness and growth. The cosmic divine.
The process of painting develops in an instinctive way, I have no desire to illustrate my natural surroundings, my artistic approach may start with a physical landscape or a metamorphic mineral, invariably it is a starting point for something ‘other’ to develop – magic ensues from combining what exists into what has never existed before. This synthesis of new evocative forms goes beyond the physical world and when I enter this unknown territory I am taken to that part of a dream I may have had, or the feeling that it left me with. It is an exchange of ideas, questions and doubts that creates magic in the heart of things, like an offering that asks for nothing and is addressed to no one. Whatever the visual traces that are left on the surface of my paintings and drawings, I hope pose existentialist questions of who and what we are. It is the polarities between consciousness and unconsciousness; memory and ambiguity; self and other; death and rebirth, that has universal significance.
*New Series* PHANTASMAGORICAL 2021 onwards
SACRED STONES, MAGNETIC FIELDS (2020-2021)
Ancient people had a way of knowing and understanding the magic that surround particular places, being attuned to these subtle energies that the modern world experience less of, particularly in an urban landscape. Magnetic anomalies exist around particular stones, especially stone circles, and the worn ley-lines – embedded human tracks in the earth that link to ancient sites. I have taken woodland walks and rambles through the countryside to coastal regions, observing the shifting light from day to night and the energies that surround particular spaces inform this series of paintings and drawings. The stone circle is my starting point, working between abstraction and figuration, colour and form and real and imagined space.
All paintings are on stretched canvas and framed canvas boards using pastel, acrylic and spray paint.
AROUSAL OF THE KUNDALINI SERIES (2019 – 2020)
Collecting taxidermy snakes and images of snakes that have been x-rayed with various objects inside them, I have developed a series of work concerned with form and matter, transparency and largely what’s unseen. Biomorphic forms have emerged, like diagnostic imageries that are not based on science and knowledge, but enacting the tools of scientific inquiry to try and describe intimacy, love, and movement. My painting process has slowed down as I have begun to think about other ways of working. These paintings reference my ongoing enquiry with snake forms and skeletons fused with body parts and organs. Observations on how easy it is to lose a real sense of connection to ourselves and the natural world.
The future is not in the machine, it is in the organism.
21ST CENTURY WOMAN SERIES (2018)
Recent ideas have developed using photo-montages, painting installations and objects that explore the primitive psyche and the psychogeography of a place – the places and spaces that have both a history and memory that I have a connection to are juxtaposed with a female mannequin (dressed with) and accompanied by an array of taxidermy animals from snakes, woodland animals, and birds. Observing how easy it is to lose a real sense of connection to ourselves and the natural world around us, these works ask the question, ‘what does it mean to be a 21st Century Woman?’
All location photography taken in Wiltshire: the stone circle in the ancient Neolithic village of Avebury and the woods and landscape of Salisbury Plain.
THE MUSE IS EXHAUSTED SERIES (2017)
Hybrids of infamous muses and mythical creatures, these ambiguous portraits with their empty eyes and translucent, cellular bodies, are a reflection of ourselves in the form of carnivalesque demons, animals and goddesses. This new series, The Muse is Exhausted, explores the relationship of the gaze and the gaze turned in on itself and to the primordial goddesses of myth and imagination. In a world preoccupied with the communication of self and image and a culture of looking and being seen, these portraits pose existentialist questions of who and what we are.
All paintings made with charcoal, pastel, acrylic and spray paint on gesso primed canvas. Maud is painted on 300 gsm Saunders Waterford paper. Sizing – figures: 120 x 150cm and portraits: 60 x 70 cm.
PHOENIX & LITTLE WING SERIES (2016-2017)
This existential body of work centres on the transformation of life form, creating a sense of visual intrigue and material presence. The physicality and expansion of scale take on a metamorphic quality that occupies an ambiguous space – fragile, transient, ethereal. The polarities between consciousness and unconsciousness; memory and ambiguity; self and other; death and rebirth (although the dialogue has a personal narrative) has universal significance.
YOU NEVER STOP SWIMMING UNTIL YOU REACH THE OCEAN SERIES (2016)
You Never Stop Swimming and the Peekaboo series are a series of drawings and paintings where the same or similar images are drawn repetitively with charcoal, acrylic and various spray paints and varnishes. The repetition of image, scale and dimension creates a sense of visual intrigue and material presence, the objective is to entice the viewer to stop and take in the work at a pared-down pace.
The tension between light and dark, form and matter and the image pushing out from the boundaries of the surface are important qualities to this series. The layers are built up over time and the mark making is hard, soft, feathery, pitted, dense and translucent. The palette is monochromatic and simplified to focus purely on the image structure which starts its journey from a series of photos observed and taken directly from my own body. Pencil and charcoal studies are drawn initially from the images until I isolate and focus on the form chosen to scale up.
PEEKABOO SERIES (2015-2016)
These paintings are ambiguous, faceless and anonymous; the concentration is on the pelvis, hips and legs. They are seductive and meant to tease, subvert and celebrate the female form, developing a dialogue with the patriarchal history of the ‘female nude’. The geometry of a woman’s body is a metaphor for a landscape, which has been formed by millions of years a geological metamorphosis and in these works, the imagery takes on a perspective as a language of body and landscape. However, the square format defies the interpretation of a landscape, the boxing in creates a further tension of wanting to break free. Questions are asked if these works are representative of sections of a woman’s body or by analogy, they relate and become part of our imaginative experience.
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