My art involves figuration and abstraction to question ideas of power, gender roles & identity. The figures I create comply with pictorial rather than anatomical truth and represent archetypes rather than individual characters. The frontality of the figure and the shallow theatrical space in which it operates reflect my interest in the expressive shorthand that is found in votive art of all cultures. These factors contribute to a highly personalised pictorial language that despite being tethered to past traditions serves to destabilise meaning. Only the art of the past could use the human figure to personify a concept that was singular and undisputed. Today the relationships between a motif, meaning and its audience are in constant flux. By working with the formal potency of these compromised systems I arrive at visual statements where meaning is deferred to the viewer. This tension, between certainty and flux, provides me with a conceptual framework to process contemporary issues and site specific, socio-political histories.

The exhibitions ‘Soldier’ (2018) and ‘No Eden’ (2019) both considered histories of conflict. ‘No Eden’ was held at the former USAF base at Greenham Common Control Tower and my research into the peace camps of the 1980s exposed me to the gendered power dynamics of militarism and feminism. These bodies of work considered ideas of the hero, the warrior, the childish man, and of the boy as both victim and perpetrator, as exemplified by ‘Little Boy’ the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Since then I have continued to make work that presents the male child as a problematic agent, suggesting innocence and hope for the future but also the potential for aggression.

Alongside this body of work I am developing a new series of monochrome paintings where repeating figures are placed on a grid a specific number of times. The significance of this number is derived from the subject contained in the title. After adjusting the tone and contour of each these elements a larger figure, related to the smaller versions, take shape. These works embrace broader themes of identity, individualism and community. They also reflect my growing interest in contemporary discourse around the indexicality of painting and concepts of difference and repetition.