S T A T E M E N T
My practice is rooted in a materialist love of the substance of paint and the objects resulting from its employment, and an instinctive need to indulge in the act of painting. My paintings may be considered products of necessity and desire, fulfilling a base, fundamental creative need and delighting in raw physicality. I openly employ painting as a means to improve my experience of living. The honest truth is that I need it in order to be happy.
In my conscious practice I seek to distill the object and the experience of painting down to something elemental within the field. It is perhaps a quest for some sort of material purity or truth (if such a thing exists). My paintings are deliberate, planned and considered and my aesthetic approach generally reductive. Humble constructions as they are, they stand on their own merits, living or dying by their visual and material qualities. In formal terms, I hope they may manifest something of the essential within the grand tradition to which they belong and so I strive to make objects that, in their fabric, embody qualities singular and unique to painting.
My lucid thinking around the pursuit of painting is bound by the point from which it all starts — a super-lingual, indescribable, visceral excitement experienced when I encounter a good painting. This awe, and feeling that I am witness to something altogether transcendent is what drives me to do any of it. The idea that I might achieve even a tiny fragment of this within my own work keeps me at it. Devising and ascribing it a conscious, personally determined formal order is a way to strip back a few of the many layers of insidious doubt that are part and parcel of most any artistic practice and, I hope, edge closer to my sublime.
The process of making the work, from conception, through construction to resolution, fulfils my conscious creative needs, but post-completion my paintings serve me in another way. From here I seek to take on the role of analyst, reading them as a reference to myself and as clues to my unconscious drivers. I look at them intending to establish why I work the way I do and in the hope that they may reveal things that could not be told in any other way. Once I have completed my logical, practical material interrogations of fabrication my focus shifts onto the reasoning behind the realisation. I embark upon looking, reading, considering, and theorising; the fascinating vagueries of painting as behaviour - my behaviour. At this point my paintings stand before me like so many looking glasses and with each I make, my mirror is polished a little brighter.
Creativity is a flighty thing and despite spending a good deal of time and thought on crafting an explanation, it remains resistant to definition. I can describe how I work and what I make now, but inevitably things change, grow and develop, therefore in terms of a universally defining statement, the best I can say is this: Painting is deeply personal and important to me and is inextricably bound up in my own life and history. I find it an overwhelmingly positive experience both in terms of indulging in the creative process and then regarding the resultant object. I look to my paintings for certain things, but I am just their first port of call. When they have served me I seek to give them a life beyond the studio, sending them out into the world to do something for someone else (for more on this, please read about Painting Pro Bono). At this point I relinquish any control I might have had and so I choose not to dictate what they may be to the viewer at all.
Summing up is not easy. I think the best I can do is this: Painting is a fundamentally, overwhelmingly positive experience for me, and one I dare say I could not live without. If looking at the paintings I make proves a positive experience for you too, then they will have achieved everything I could possibly hope them to.