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Artist statement

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Multidisciplinary artist exploring the vibration, rhythms and musicality inherent in nature, places and urban environments. 

I studied Photography at West Surrey College of Art & Design, 1989-92 (now the University for the Creative Arts, Farnham).

I take inspiration from the repeated daily walks in the landscapes I use to underpin my artistic interrogations. Repeating the same journey each day, taking photos as I go, I develop an intimate connection with the landscape. 

 

The results are paintings, sketches and photographs that pay homage to the synergies of the rhythms I discover in the contours of the landscape combined with the abstract qualities of the textures, light and shadow as they change through the seasons. 

 

Music

Both walking and in the studio, music is important to my creative process; abstract paintings blend the sense of musicality I feel in the landscape itself with my inner landscape.

 

Some pieces are based on the five lines of a musical stave, suggesting the two experiences of music and land superimposed upon each other, generating unique sets of rhythms and vibrations.A preoccupation with traces, fragments, exposure and erasure all work to pose a question about identity.

 

Process

A habit of producing daily sketches enables an immediate translation of my visceral experiences; a way of responding to the energies in the landscape; an occasion to witness the rhythmic and chaotic narrative of nature as it changes.

  

Influences include Mark Bradford, Julie Mehretu, Joan Mitchell, Cy Twombly and Antoni Tàpies and my work speaks to the tradition of lyrical abstraction. Many paintings are suggestive of surfaces aged by the passage of time. I build these surfaces using my own techniques that include layering strips of linen or canvas and overlaying in mixed media, scratching and sanding back multiple times, resulting in a patina that suggests both the action of time and multiple stories interacting. 

 

Textures and touch

As a way of countering the over-saturation of our lives with screen-based images, I am increasingly concerned with the finished painting as a physical and tactile artefact. Many of my pieces invite touch, recalling the visceral inspiration of their beginnings, and some are finished with a wax varnish to enable this type of engagement.

In my past life

 

Before I became an artist

As a younger man in the 1980s, I worked internationally as a costumier on the film sets of some well-known movies (as well as many that were not).

I left school aged 16 with few qualifications so when, at 28, I was accepted into an art college to study for a degree in photography, it opened my artistic potential. I was fortunate to be taught by some exceptional people including the documentary photographers Anna Fox and Martin Parr and the photo-montage artist Peter Kennard.

On leaving art college in 1992 I was an early adopter and enthusiast for the potential of the emerging interactive digital media, or ‘multimedia’ as it was then called.

In 1996 I was a founder of one of the UK’s first digital media agencies and succeeded in growing a blue-chip clientele with whom we achieved some notable successes, both creatively and as an award-winning business.

In 2010 I was a founder of a health coaching business which supports people with long-term health conditions.

I became a full-time artist in 2019.

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