Fenland Landscape Series
Here you can see a range of my photographic work. I am particularly interested in recording the landscape of the fens, the ditches, dykes, rivers and manmade waterways that criss cross the earth. Here, is in an uncompromising vista of flat horizons and endless sky, marking 400,000 acres of land reclaimed from the sea. However fleeting, there is a bleak majesty in this triumph of man and his technological mastery. This is a land imagined by engineers and built, gouged and scored by armies of anonymous labourers. The seeming absence of people outside the towns and villages perhaps reflects a collective memory of the watery world that previously existed beyond the sparse ridges and islands of higher ground.
A variety of processes and techniques have been used including collage, texture layers, digital drawing and painting.
Digital photography, macro lens, drawing, textured surfaces, Wacom graphics tablet, Adobe photoshop and Adobe Lightroom.
Cambridge Abstraction Series
This is a multi layered mixed media acrylic painting on a high quality canvas frame. I am currently working on a series of paintings based on the city of Cambridge. I don't believe that we can ever really know a particular place or location, not in a purely objective way, not even through the 'impartiality' of a camera lens. There are so many different ways of seeing, understanding and interpreting; our view of the world is a subjective, personal experience.
I have developed these paintings through a sort of conversational process, an exchange of ideas and thoughts; of talking and listening. What you see here is the result of many such conversations; a constant give and take between what I think I have to say as a painter and what the painting has to say to me. The painting often contradicts me and frequently suggests that I may be mistaken in my views. Out of consideration for my feelings it may quietly suggest alternative ways of progressing. I sometimes delude myself into thinking I am directing the conversation but I know that this activity of 'painting' is a collaboration, a combined effort. What you see here is a partnership between planning and accident, conceit and humility, confidence and deflation, wisdom and foolishness, a conversation between friends.....just talking about the city.....and the conversation will continue.
New Forest Series
The New Forest Series of paintings were created during my residency in the New Forest; the work is partly expressionistic and impressionistic in terms of technique and style. The medium is cold wax and oil paint applied with a variety of tools including brushes and palette knives. The surface of each painting is built up in heavy impasto and alternately glazed over a period of time.
These images are a personal reflection on landscape.............the landscape that surrounds me, the fields and skies of the Cambridgeshire Fenlands. But no one should feel confined or constrained by a particular location; this painting has no topographical information, no trees, mountain peaks, hedgerows or rivers valleys to navigate. The only compass you have is your own experience, your own knowledge and personal history.
This is the universal language of horizontal and geometric divisions, dark and light......earth and sky in unequal partnership. It is an archetype, a diagram or blueprint, anchored and echoed in our upright stance, as we gaze outwards across the land. It is what we have always done.
July Open Studios
Why am I an artist?
Well, that is a good question and there are many potential answers; however, the simple truth is that I make art because it is a natural thing for me to do. To create pictures is to be involved in a strange, wonderful and mysterious activity that deepens the sense of mystery and fascination that I think we all experience in our lives.
How do I use art as a form of expression?
I believe passionately in the power of art to transform both ourselves and the environment in which we live. Art has always enhanced our lives; it has always been with us; we started drawing on walls in caves, we have a need to reflect the world around us, to present it back to ourselves in different forms.
Although originally from the UK, I have spent many years living and working abroad and have enjoyed the experience of getting to know different societies, their people and culture. I spent many years in Germany, Cyprus and most recently in the Middle East. The countries in which I have lived and worked are ever present in my work. You don’t have to look very far to see the evidence; the blue and turquoise of the Mediterranean, the warm ochres of the Persian Gulf, a certain underlying preoccupation with design and order and the tactile qualities of earth and stone.
What’s my perspective?
I am primarily an abstract painter.In my painting, I don’t attempt to describe a particular place or geographical location. I am more interested in sensations and experiences, the shapes, the colours and the textures that can be combined to create the unexpected. I am interested in visual rhythms and sequences of shapes. I enjoy the hypnotic effect of repetition and the interplay between the flatness of the canvas and our desire to see depth and perspective. I have always seen a close connection between music and painting. I see certain colours and shapes as potential chord structures and my task is to find groupings that work; inevitably the permutations are limitless but I am always searching for ‘notes’ that truly sing together.
What do I want my art to communicate?
When we begin to talk about seeing and perception, we know that what we see is only a part of the story, just the tip of the iceberg. We don’t merely see what is directly in front of us, we see in relation to ourselves, our past and our experiences. If my paintings have an uncertain quality then I may have made some progress because nothing in this world stays the same, nothing is fixed. For me, this is where the real magic and power of art resides, in the alchemy of materials, memory, awareness, experience and feeling. This is why painting is ultimately so rewarding and when you get it right…you just know.
Why am I interested in Photography?
The relationship between painting and photography has always fascinated me. I enjoy photography as an art form in its own right and I believe that these two visual mediums are inextricably linked. Painting had a profound effect on the development of photography and photography has influenced and continues to influence painters in many important ways. From the early days of the ‘camera obscura’ there has been a continuing dialogue between painting and photography and this can be seen in the work of many contemporary artists. I generally see my photographic work as a very different way of making images and I rarely use them as direct source material for my paintings. However, I have no doubt that the act of constantly looking at the world through a viewfinder has left an indelible, if not immediately visible impact on all my work.
Foundation Course Art & Design (Liverpool University)
B.A. Fine Art (Manchester University)
A.T.D. (Liverpool University)
Master of Arts (Open University)