1 What is/are the primary reason(s) for you to make work in the first
I make work mainly because I feel a need/desire to produce but my painting also gives me the opportunity to explore the emotions associated with love and death. I consider my work to be a sort of research project as I am engaged in an ongoing investigation into such things as the relationship between abstraction and representation; contemporary and historical; signifier and signified.
2 What do you intend your work to convey to an audience?
I would like my paintings to move people emotionally in the way that some paintings move me and also for them to make people think about their emotional response to experiences such as love and death. I would also like people to enjoy experiencing them visually, just in terms of colour and light etc.
3 Why do you work in your chosen medium and format?
Partly because I like painting materials and enjoy the physical process of mixing colours and substances, and partly because my work is, to some extent, about painting and paint itself. I refer to the history of painting, not just through the imagery that I select but also through the format and painterly techniques that I employ. I also really enjoy the way that painting allows me to create illusions of light.
4 Technically speaking how do you go about constructing your work, that is the image or object itself? What devices do you employ?
I spend a significant amount of time researching art historical and cinematic material, looking for imagery that can be appropriated and recontexualised within my paintings. Elements of existing paintings and film stills are extracted from their original source, given a new meaning in the context of each painting, and then used (often repeatedly) within my work. I work in series and the borrowed imagery becomes a part of a narrative that continues throughout my practice.
I stretch and prime the canvas, and then I use a combination mixing various substances and pouring techniques along with intricately painting small details in oil paint.
5 Which period(s)/artists/specific works of art are you influenced by and how directly? How does this manifest in your work?
I have a particular fascination with seventeenth century still life painting. For several years I have made very direct references to paintings by Dutch and Flemmish painters such as Willem can Aelst, Abraham Mignon, Jan Davidsz de Heem, Rachel Ruysch and Johannes Bosschaert for example. Other significant art historical references include, Vernet, Chardin, Rembrandt, Carravagio and Courbet.
I am almost equally influenced by 20th century abstractionists such as Morris Louis, Willem De Kooning, Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, Robert Ryman, Cy Twombley etc. but then Edward Hopper has also had a significant impact.
Other strong influences include: Ross Bleckner, Jonathan Lasker, Sigmar Polke, Felix Gonzalez Torres, to name but a few!
6 What stimulates/informs your work from the world around you?
Individual expressions of kindness, humility and passion contrasting with the brutality and violence that one experiences and/or observes both locally and globally.
7 What stimulates/informs your work from your own personal experience?
Anything and everything – trying to survive life and love and personal tragedies!
8 From where do you derive your other visual source material (i.e. non art historical) and how do you implement this material within your work?
I am interested in cinema and sometimes I use film stills as source material for my work. This allows me to reflect on cinematic notions such as illusion and light, sequence and suspense and displaced and disjointed narrative.
9 What are the main problems that you face in making your work?
The main problems I face are almost always to do with auxiliary pressures such as time and money.
10 Where do you intend to take your work from here?
I intend to continue to be ambitious with my work and to continue to make work that challenges me.