Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Artist Statement

Statement July 2013 - I have included this as I found it difficult to articulate the changes in my work and feel that it is useful to make a comparison.

My work explores the concept of narrative painting which infers fractured and implied stories. I am interested in referencing familiar imagery whilst constructing ambiguous narratives; collecting, manipulating, constructing and layering; glimpses of unusual encounters or games. Hybrid figures represent child and adult; fiction and reality; gigantic and shrunken; the juxtaposition of opposites creating a sense of the macabre and quiet playfulness. Each figure is intended to captivate, challenge and disconcert the audience with their gaze; placed like props or puppets they are both manipulated and manipulative, their heavy heads hanging threateningly.

My practice draws on literature, myth, fairy and folk tales, the writing of Angela Carter and Marina Warner. I am also inspired by the magical realism of Paula Rego and Peter Doig’s uncanny landscapes, where figures appear covert and awkward. The imaginary painted space challenges perceptions of scale and uses context to emphasise tension and displacement. Central ideas exist just out of touch of reality and hope to make the viewer question what is real. Through falling, concealment, shape and scale shifting, my characters are taken through a series of transformations forcing them to become a spectacle; they intend to disturb and enchant the audience and jar with logic and sensibility.

My most recent work begins a series exploring alternate truths where I am investigating the relationship between aesthetics and concept. I am particularly interested in parallels between making and ideas, for example how colour within an image can be used to manipulate the viewer’s perception and alter mood. These paintings introduce themes of reflection and the mirror, a sense of deconstruction and disorder. Figures begin to merge and blend with each other and their environment, challenging the idea of identity though slight alterations and the creation of parallel personas. This work continues to juxtapose the playful with a sense of danger and menace through more dynamic compositions which incorporate visual codes and clues.
Sometimes originating as composite photographic images, they set up play between truth and construction; non-chronological snapshots suggest narrative and hope to engage the viewer who is left to make sense of the stories; to fill in the gaps and rearrange their understanding; to interpret and activate characters within their environment. The role of drawing is also becoming increasingly important as a means for exploring ideas; I am using a combination of gestural mark making and layering techniques to create an enigmatic painting surface which conceals and reveals simultaneously. 

Statement July 2014 - first attempt 

My work explores elements of narrative through glimpses and fragments of stories. I am interested in referencing familiar imagery to construct ambiguous encounters; collecting, manipulating, constructing and layering. The making process and figures challenge the line between playfulness and menace, intention and experience.

My practice is built on the idea of the artist as storyteller. Through drawing with paint, lines and strands suggest figures, spaces and encounters. The viewer is left to make sense of the stories; to fill in the gaps and rearrange their understanding; to interpret and activate characters within their environment. There is a sense of what was, and what could be, rather than a fully formed version of a truth. A potential state which suggests multiple futures; dangerous, exciting and undecided.
Through photography, I collect fragments to create hybrid, overlapping and partial trace figures. Again, figures are caught at the point where a childish game becomes more sinister; pinching, biting, twisting, fighting. The bodies are unfinished, referencing metamorphosis and the grotesque. They are vulnerable but powerful. The gestural use of loose colour aims to suggest both energy, generated by movement or touch, and a means of obliteration.

My most recent work continues a series exploring alternate truths where I am investigating the relationship between aesthetics and concept. I am particularly interested in parallels between making and ideas, for example how colour can be used to manipulate the viewer’s perception and reading of an image. These paintings introduce a sense of deconstruction and disorder. Figures begin to merge and blend with each other and their environment, challenging the boundaries of the body, receding and disappearing within the picture plane. The imaginary painted space challenges perceptions of scale and uses context to emphasise tension and displacement.
By working on multiple surfaces and in series, I intend to play with chronology and manifestations of the book. Pages can be rearranged to create different versions of the truth. The work raises questions and poses multi-faceted scenarios where the viewer can make connections and draw their own conclusions from what is presented. Every encounter with the work generates an alternative dialogue where chance elements come together to build their own narrative. The works are intended to be rearranged and displayed on an invisible grid work, linked by trace. Figures appear and reappear in a different setting or position to indicate a sense of time, giving context through their relationship to other surfaces.
 

Feedback and reflection


Even though I had read my statement aloud several times, when I read it to the group it was clearly repetitive and quite long. I had based my writing on previous guidance given for statements (300-500 words) but think Jack's idea of the 5 tweet statement/sound bites/video clips would be far better. I also hadn't realised how inappropriate my writing of intentions for the viewer's experience was - this I think has become muddled with reflection and articulating intentions. The viewer doesn't need to be told how to experience the work. The statement shouldn't presume that they will encounter or respond in a particular way. I used the interim break to hack sections out of my statement to this effect. Result is below. Obviously needs refining and further editing but a swift and ruthless cut has improved it greatly in my opinion. 
Things to remember...
  • make it personal
  • make it clear
  • make references that are relevent and useful for the viewer
  • don't tell the viewer want to think or how to experience the work
  • don't be precious about favourite phrases
  • shorter is better in this case

My practice is built on the idea of the artist as storyteller. Through drawing with paint, lines and traces suggest figures, spaces and encounters. There is a sense of what was, and what could be, rather than a fully formed truth; a potential state suggesting multiple futures. I collect fragments to create hybrid, overlapping and partial trace figures. The bodies are unfinished, vulnerable but powerful.

I reference familiar imagery to construct ambiguous encounters; collecting, manipulating, constructing and layering. Through elements of narrative, the surface captures glimpses and fragments of stories. The making process and figures challenge the line between playfulness and menace, intention and experience.

My most recent work continues a series exploring alternate truths where I am investigating the relationship between aesthetics and concept; parallels between making and ideas. These paintings introduce a sense of deconstruction and disorder. Figures begin to merge and blend with each other and their environment, challenging the boundaries of the body, receding and disappearing within the picture plane. The gestural use of colour aims to suggest both energy, generated by movement or touch, and a means of obliteration.

By working on multiple surfaces and in series, I play with chronology and manifestations of the book. Every encounter with the ‘pages’ generates an alternative dialogue where chance elements come together to build their own narrative, creating different versions of truth within the imaginary painted space.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Bank Street Arts

http://bankstreetarts.com/

I am very excited about the prospect of our MA Show venue - Bank Street Arts, Sheffield...

I am not thinking about what will appear in the show yet tho;)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Monday, June 11, 2012

Bucks Open Studios 2012 - Opening Weekend

Young Artists at Studio 7b

Work in progress for visitors to get an idea of my working processes
Busy working hard on mask designs

King of the Castle


Wall of inspiration

Paper based work from my exploratory project

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Angela Carter's Words

I have been revisiting Angela Carter's short stories after a few years (in fact the copy I am currently looking at is inscribed inside the front cover as a Christmas gift, 2002!). I have read The Magic Toyshop (owned in several editions) countless times but have until now spent far less time on the shorter stories. I am going to record some of the lines I find useful here, with the idea of using extracts to inspire narrative or contrast when planning a painting composition. My intention is not to illustrate, but refer to and acknowledge Carter as an influence.

Flesh and the Mirror

'...artificial cherry blossom'
'...continuous carnival, no matter what ripples of agitation disturb the never-ceasing, endlessly circulating, quiet, gentle, melencholy crowds who throng the wet web of alleys under a false ceiling of umbrellas.'
'...methodical inversions or mirror images of the dwellers on dry land.'
'...rummaging in the dressing-up box of the heart for suitable appearances to adopt in the city.'
'...pulling the strings of my own puppet; it was the puppet who was moving about on the other side of the glass.'
'Our pelts were stippled with the fretted shadows of the lace curtains'
'Women and mirrors are in complicity with one another to evade the action I/she performs that she/I cannot watch, the action with which I break out of the mirror, with which I assume my appearance.'
'I wanted to take him apart, like a child dismantles a clockwork toy...'

Reflections


'It looked like the mirror image of a shell, and so it should not have been able to exist outside a mirror; in this world, it could not exist without a mirror.'
'She bent forward so that her necromatic hair brushed my face...'
'The volatile stitchery they produced occupied all the carpetless are of the floor and, in places, was piled up as high as the crippled knees of its maker.'
'...a loose negligee of spider-coloured lace'
'Her eyelids and the cavernous sockets of her eyes were thickly stuck with silver sequins that glittered in the strange, subaqueous, drowned, drowning light that suffused the room...'
'...reflected in a forest pool rather than by silvered glass for the surface of the mirror looked like the surface of motionless water, or of mercury...'
'Kiss yourself in the mirror, the symbolic matrix of this and that, hither and thither, outside and inside.'
Tiresias
'...on this side of the mirror, a smile was no clue whatsoever to intention or to feeling...'





Found Photos - All My Own:)

I take alot of photos and never seem to have enough time to do anything with them after the event. I was just looking through to find some pics of old displays and came across a few which reminded me of things I wanted to remember, usually anchored to a visual idea or line of enquiry. I'm uploading them for reference and reminders, a digital addition to the recipe book - don't know why some of them have uploaded sideways:/ x