If I am to be categorised within a genre of art, I would consider myself primarily a landscape artist. I have experimented over a period of twenty years to find my own voice and add something to this genre rather than imitating or parodying it. My initial career as a mason before entering art education involved restoring listed buildings and the influence from this close contact with buildings is clear within the subsequent focus and development of my work as an artist, consequently, a tactile approach has always been a feature of my work. The picturesque is not the predominant factor in creating a piece; it is the honesty of the place in its raw state which is important. To retain the integrity, I have used various methods to apply paint; in the Pathways paintings for instance, where the catalyst was a disused mine at Hemerdon, I used cutting discs and found objects found in situ.
In tandem with the Pathways paintings, I also had a photographic project, Blue String, again based at the mine. The windows of the mine buildings had been covered with blue tarpaulin which, over the years, had disintegrated into fine, blue string. It occurred to me that these were natural drawings or sculpture and I returned regularly to document these changes. Again, the integrity of the place was paramount, so none of the compositions are contrived or edited; they are as found in situ. The Blue String and Pathways projects continued to develop until 2010 when I felt that the body of work had reached its natural conclusion.
The next phase of work evolved from my interest in a painting by Holman Hunt: ‘Our English Coasts (Strayed Sheep)’. I had re-evaluated where my practice was heading and felt my work was starting to lose its integrity, so made a decision to simplify my approach to the subject, controlling any gestural painting and superfluous mark making, therefore letting the painting or photograph tell the story without confusion. John Ruskin’s 1847 Pre-Raphaelite manifesto in Modern Painters proclaimed: ‘Go to Nature in all singleness of heart, and walk with her laboriously and trustingly, having no other thoughts but how best to penetrate her meaning, and remember her instructions; rejecting nothing, selecting nothing, and scorning nothing; believing all things to be right and good, and rejoicing always in the truth.'
This continuing body of work has developed over two years and is based on Plymouth Sound and its foreshore, whilst the sense of place is important in the conception of the work, it is also a generic landscape that is the embodiment of who we are. Therefore, the locality of the paintings can be read as incidental, as there is an intended duality and ambiguity with particular relevance in the context of contemporary culture and politics.
|1994-1997||University of Plymouth (Exeter Campus) BA (Hons) Fine Art. 2.1 & Gained the award for the most outstanding mature student.|
|1992-1994||Plymouth College of Art & Design. Btec National Diploma (Distinction) General Art & Design.|
As a mature student started a Btec General Art & Design at Plymouth followed by a BA(Hons) Fine Art at Exeter (University Of Plymouth) where I studied under John Virtue.
I have been a full-time artist and have a studio on the edge of Dartmoor. A member of the South West Academy Of Fine & Applied Arts and exhibit regularly throughout the South West.
My studio is open to visitors any day between 0900-1800.(Please phone first !)