1995-1998, From Stencils to Colour Fields
A game of making sequential nonsense stories by putting paint through stencils in various arrangements, including the low-relief repetition of random names. This was the beginning of an enduring interest in hollowness, text and texture, leading to a stripped-down series of colour-field paintings with subtitles lifted from pop and rap lyrics.
1999-2005, Magazine Drag
Magazine models used as the basis for large-scale paintings. Vacuous, seductive and repulsive images of commodity posturing, aggressively redelivered with a gothic-camp attitude which was absorbed from alternative club culture, then amped up even more via flashy painting techniques (dumbly describing hair and make-up) on heavy black oil backgrounds. The collage/drag sensibility was then expanded into theatrical assemblage work with multiple panels arranged on the wall and the incorporation of low relief.
2006-2011, This Is a Vampire Story
A long series of single-figure portraits using one cut-out figure at a time, reworked until they came to life in a different way and felt lived-in. The figures were reimagined as undead hosts to the medium of Painting, which uses us to continue. The following text was written at the time: LINK
Abandoned the figures, instead beginning with the point of a compass. All drawings/paintings in this group grew out of a pattern from sacred geometry, the Flowers of Life, a grid made of curves which produces infinite potential for picking out flowing energies, constellations and geometric forms- an activity and a symbol of our constant selection from multiple possibilities. Two types of figures entered this work: 1) a bird, which flies through some of the paintings, making the geometry act as a background setting and 2) silhouettes of visitors to the studio, traced directly in with charcoal, making reference to Plato’s Allegory of the Cave and the myth of the first drawing, the Corinthian Maid. INTERVIEW LINK
2016-17, Dreaming Is Free (tbc)
Drawing on multiple strands from previous work, these paintings are meditations on the nature of narrative construction and the mutability of identities.
Figures are again incorporated to use as cyphers, geometry is a continuing motif and collage-type stories are negotiated directly on the canvas. Through the drawing/painting process, the decontextualised picture-parts are reformed differently within the compositional and sensual logic of the paintings. This process accumulates at different speeds — sometimes fast and light, often heavily reworked — to create a particular temperament for each work.
In the more cryptic arrangements, animals may appear as extras or Pullman-esque daemons. At times, silhouettes of myself working are directly traced into the mix. Echoes from art history announce themselves indexically during the making, and are then used to shift the tone, to recode.
Just below our linguistic, rational or compositional constructs, there is a continuous stream which we can all detect during liminal states of consciousness, easily accessed in a flow-state of concentration. In the best and worst moments we are aware of ourselves as being just part of that stream of consciousness, just another fictional construct. In Spinozan terms, this is the sameness of the single substance of everything, an idea we can never fully experience, although painting as a medium acts as a good metaphor for it.
What disappears when we describe a dream? Why do we value spaces of not knowing? Why does painting continue through all technological upgrades? What will we do after work?