I make paintings, prints, collages and sculptures that use both figuration and abstraction to articulate ideas of power, gender roles & identity. The figure plays a central role that combines references to the art of the past with contemporary issues and site specific, socio-political histories. It operates in a shallow, theatrical space that reflects my interest in the frontality and expressive shorthand that is found in votive art of all cultures.

When painting I may start from a drawing or the overpainting and collaging of earlier works. The composition is then usually subjected to further revisions and embellishments, with paint layers sometimes modified by the introduction of sand, sawdust or collage elements. Colour decisions are driven by the composition and the emotional tone I wish to convey. In contrast my sculptural work is concerned with the impact light will have over the material.

This tendency to personify, simplify, and filter is my response to the bewildering surfeit of images available to contemporary audiences. In the past artists could use the human figure to convey a narrative or personify a concept confident that they could reach their audience with uncontested meanings. These certainties unravelled with the rampant dissemination of images, first in print and then by cinema, television and online, that inevitably ruptured links between a motif and its context. By mediating the formal potency that endures in these otherwise outmoded and compromised systems I aim for visual statements that reflect a multivalent universe where meaning is by necessity fluid and open to interpretation.

From my early interest in childhood, family and rites of passage I have come to see the male child as a problematic agent, suggesting innocence and hope for the future but also the potential for future violence. These ideas of the boy as both victim and perpetrator, and the idea of the childish man, were explored in recent exhibitions at Sandham Memorial Chapel and Greenham Control Tower which involved artworks made in response to specific histories and the gendered power dynamics of patriarchy, feminism, and militarism.

Using Format