A B O U T M E
The Immemorial seen and the unseen
Although I do not remember it, I have been told that the first piece of artwork I produced that was exhibited was of a Triceratops eating a hunk of cheese. It was the early 1980’s, I was three or four; and the exhibition space was the wall of the playgroup / kindergarten. I say wall but really it was the window of an old double Decker bus that served as the play group. Apparently the picture stayed there for many years, until the bus was destroyed by a fire at some point in the late 1990’s.
With this is mind I suppose I have always since childhood been interested in art and imaginary landscapes that tell a story through metaphors and historiography.
I believe that art has enormously, and will continue to change culture and the society around it.
I am influenced in my work by the historical dichotomy of the engine of nature as a force of beauty and also a force of destruction.
Namely the feelings of a lack of control in the overwhelming mechanisms of nature, but equally the desire to disappear within its borders; due to the equally overwhelming over reaching technology and breakdown of real narratives, as they exist in this moment of time.
It is from this dichotomy that I produce works of philosophical, spiritual, social and psychological reactions to the 'personal' engagement with the world; both the 'seen' and the 'unseen' aspects of it.
With this in mind I am equally influenced by the art produced during the 18th and 19th centuries, when these contrasting ideas of nature and destruction where at their height; the ideas of the sublime as opposed to those of manifest destiny, and the appropriation of nature for progress. The apocalyptic themes produced during this time are once again prevalent in our own time, and our near future; namely themes of the death of the enlightenment, and the rise of nihilism.
The final end of the belief in history as upward progression.
I aim to present to the viewer scenes which display an historical and aged aesthetic, a reclaiming of the visual culture at the end of the Enlightenment period; juxtaposed with those of 21st narratives. Art work which projects the viewer into the authenticity of the age of the art from a distance through its construction, however close inspection will reveals the art as an alternative truth, a window between both periods. To this end I display the aesthetics of 18th and 19th century paintings, combining aged salvaged wood, 18th and 19th century windows, boards, salvaged furniture parts, metal, period paper and hand built historical styled frames; with that of my artwork which depicts 21st century landscapes in the guise of 18th and 19th century ones, using photography, mixed media, aged varnish, oils, inks, wax and stains.
‘Give us Wings, Wings, Wings!’, rose the cry on every side, ‘even though we plunge into the sea’!’
L’HISTOIRE DU ROMANTISME