I grew up in a small village in the countryside, close to Stratford-Upon-Avon. Walking through the crop fields, cycling along the lanes and watching the sun set over the landscape was part of everyday life. It is only now, having spent the last 15 years in the city that I fully appreciate my childhood, growing up in a rural environment, surrounded by nature and with a sense of freedom.
Living in the city has reminded me of the restorative experience of being in nature, feeling orientated by a larger force, where natural elements exist, grow and change reassuringly, as though things are just as they should be. My experience of being in the natural environment is like a reconnection with self, where thoughts and ideas have the space they need to develop freely, providing a renewed energy and the inspiration for new work.
Aspects of nature feature strongly in my artwork both literally and metaphorically. My BA Hons Fine Art degree show comprised of a mixed-media installation using bees, honey and beeswax which explored metaphors relating to the beehive, life-cycle and the notion of expendability.
Today my artwork is focused more towards drawing, painting and printmaking. Limiting my control of materials and relying upon chance happenings taking place on the canvas creates an organic quality and allows aspects of the artwork to develop independently.
Experimenting with notions of control allows me freedom to explore the qualities of the materials I’m using, and the possibilities within taking risks.
The non-representational nature of my artwork in some cases creates confusion around what it is about a piece that reminds us of something else, encouraging the viewer to look beyond colour and composition, and to observe the interplay of materials which takes place on the canvas, allowing for responses to the work which are particular to the individual.
Many of the artworks are organised by linear divisions creating a frame from or through which the work can be viewed. The delicacy of colour in some cases is often harshly juxtaposed with the crude lines of the palette knife, slicing and dividing the image, creating an order. Metaphors exist here in terms of the containment of chaos within an organized frame.
The overlap, multi-layered application and scraping back of paint creates a depth which calls into question the borderline between the external and internal, its paradoxes and contrasts. Within the work ambivalence exists between the exposing and obscuring of what lies beneath.
Producing artwork with this in mind resembles the decisions we make about which aspects of ‘self’ we choose to reveal and which we hide or disguise, leading to questions about the external presentations of internal reality. These ideas are also evocative of my clinical work as an art psychotherapist. Exploring issues such as identity and perception are pivotal in gaining an understanding of people’s relationships with themselves and with those around them, and in appreciating how ones internal world affects ones outward reality.
The images on this site represent a selection of my artwork.