Origins and lineage are the key elements which underscore my art practice. I’ve a particularly complicated familial past which drives a curiosity to understand my place, as well as how things originate. Since moving from Australia to London, the landscape has continually seeped into my work and, like the painters of the 1950s, it has taken moving countries to realise the lived experience of just how internalised landscape becomes. It’s exhilarating to find I carry the footprints of my previous homeland with me.
I am continually questioning the exchange between ourselves, what we inherit and the structures through which we perceive the world. How the external becomes a fragmented interior, which is processed, then re-externalised, driving the mysterious makings of artistic endeavour. My intention is not so much to resolve these riddles of influence and exchange, but rather, to play with the elements which contribute to the questions; attempting to keep the ground moving through the use of colour, pattern, symbols and structure.
I dip in and out of multiple, often opposing, viewpoints of experience when I’m working in the studio, be it aerial and vertical, micro and macro, by hand and digital, or recalling the dramatic light of Australia, set against the subdued hue of popular English household pigments. These are never straightforward contrasts. If anything, I prefer to maintain a healthy level of contradiction and ambivalence. To promise and deny. To reveal as much as avoid. To emerge as well as suppress. To convey playfulness alongside rebellion. Finding a rhythmic touch, then bringing in a tension to clash, clarify or still the image.
From painting to sculpture, collage to drawing, I usually develop an over-arching structure, then reveal micro details through the surface treatment. This ranges from staining to mark making to scratching, scraping and sanding back the paint. An excavation of sorts takes place. The material is examined and negotiated with, as previous layers of paint are revealed and, sometimes, the original surface itself. The result is like merging my skin with that of the surface. All the while, I continue to define the structure which guides the viewing possibilities of the work. I step back to gain a better understanding of the question I am posing. So that ultimately, the entirety of the work becomes an enquiry into the origin of its own making.