Lives and works in London / Dorset

When I embark upon a new painting, I do not wish to know exactly how it should appear on its completion, however I do operate within a system of constraints. This enforces numerous decisions to be made prior to starting the new work. The substrate, dimensions, colour and textiles, will be determined first and this is already a lot of decisions which have great influence. upon the direction of the work. This approach results in my paintings differing quite considerably from one another and no two works are ever the same, however there is a familiar language of marks and methods which can be recognised throughout the practice. It is not until the work is fully underway that its identity is realised, and the work starts to take on a life of its own. Knowing when to pull back and let the painting start to breath independently is a challenge and it takes time for me to view the painting in the studio and decide when the painting is completed.  I have come to realise that it is best to consider completion at the point prior to the last mark. This may offer flight for the work – independence from me and enables the viewer to sense that they may have their own projected ideal for completion. This leaves the work open and in a state of suggestion.

My practice attends to the importance of material and process; the paint itself and the supporting materials. Therefore, the paintings are about themselves and of themselves, exposing and revealing the numerous decisions which have been made during their construction. My pursuit in avoiding illusion and resisting representation of the outside world is an ongoing struggle; as the layering of marks may suggest a depth of field, implying landscape, architectonic form or meaning by association. Each of us tends to look for recognisable form and meaning in everything, to the point of exhaustion, particularly in our current condition. I have no desire to make comment about my background, gender, race, social and political stance, or opinion.  There is enough comment already. Of course, I consider our social and environmental state when working and this no doubt permeates through to my decision-making when constructing a work. What I consider to be of value and what I consider to be valid as a mark will come from my personalised belief system, which is formed from my experience of being in our complex social and political network. We exist within a layering of landscapes – the emotional, urban, rural and political.

Whilst I consider these complexities, I realise there is a duality of forces at play. I often use this concept to construct a vertical division through the surface. This offers opposites or contrasts which work side by side, giving each other strength. I may use colour to emphasise this duality of forces, or it may be surface contrasts. The surface is constructed through various methods of assemblage, folding, stitching , tearing and paint application. This process becomes the subject of my work. The subtlety of these details is not often witnessed when the work is viewed as a photograph or on a screen. I prefer the works to be physically encountered and experienced. There is no “big story” behind the work. It is their construction that is my concern and the subject of the work. Colour, tone, composition, and balance demand my skills. Oil paint is a wonderful material and can be applied with numerous tools, but it’s tricky stuff. It can be elusive and likes to create pleasurable marks, so spatial depths may enter uninvited. It becomes a battle as I eliminate the seductive marks which occur as the paint is applied through various means.

I construct indeterminate borders and boundaries, establishing ambiguity around the point of entry and departure. The compositional structure becomes an inversion, where the important points of interest often sit on the periphery, leaving the paint towards the centre, solid and at times matt. The work hovers between painting, construction, and object, whilst still conforming to the formal identity of a painting and honouring the historically sacred surface of a painting. My mark making and decisions with assemblage and construction are what gives the work its agency and what generates its very specific effect. I leave traces of myself on the surface, through the decision-making process which results in the works having a very particular identity of their own and their own logic. Oscillating between excess and restraint, hesitancy and assertion, privacy and disclosure, the paint is pressed into canvas, linen, organza and scrim, as the duality of forces unite. Colour is hugely important and offers another level of engagement. I produce several works in the same tones as the mood demands. Always mixing my own colours, with my favoured pigments and they usually have a jewel-like intensity. Part air and partly grounded, the works proceed until they find their own internal logic, truth and resting place.


Nationality
British / New Zealand

Exhibitions

2022‘Gestura II’, Enfanterrible Exhibitions, group show, Marie Jose Gallery, London
‘Something Tender’, group show, Yorkton Street Gallery, London
‘Artist in Residence’, Keythrope Hall, Leicestershire, UK
2021‘ING Discerning Eye Exhibition’, invited by Roland Cowan, Mall Galleries, London
‘Friday Focus’, Parapluie Art, Artist in Focus with interview
‘Ethereal Reality’, group show, JB Gallery, Debut exhibition,
2020‘Invitational 1’, group show, Unit 1 Gallery, London,
‘Artist In Focus’, solo show, Lisa Norris Gallery, London,
‘Summer Exhibition’, group show, Lisa Norris Gallery, London,
2019‘Gestura’, Enfant Terrible Exhibition, group show, London
‘Painting with Thread’, group show, Lisa Norris Gallery, London,
‘Editions Show’, group show, Unit 1 Gallery, London,
‘Four in Focus’, group show, Lisa Norris Gallery,
2018Herrick Gallery, London, group show
‘Winter group show’, Lisa Norris Gallery, London,
‘Radical Residency II’, Group Show, Unit 1 Gallery, London,
‘The Hand of the Artist’, group show, Roaming Room Gallery, London, Collaboration 5,
‘Exceptional Art Award’, group show, Collyer Bristow Gallery, London,
‘Accidental Beauty’, solo show, Lisa Norris Gallery, London,
2017‘Summer exhibition’, group show, North House Gallery, Manningtree, Essex,
2016‘Stratum’, group show, Lisa Norris Gallery, London,
‘Monochromatic’, group show, Lisa Norris Gallery, London,
2015‘Collaborators 4’, group show, Roaming Room Gallery, London,
‘Illusionary Spaces’, Solo Show, Lisa Norris Gallery, London,
2014NOA, Somerset House, London
‘Group Show’, Lisa Norris Gallery, London,
‘Signature Art Prize Exhibition’, Degree Art, Vyner Street, London
2013‘Rising Stars’, Coombe Gallery, Dartmouth, Devon
Residency
2018Radical Residency II, Unit 1 Gallery, London
Awards
2018‘Exceptional Award’, Collyer Bristow, Finalist
2017‘The Tony Carter Award’, City & Guilds of London Art School, Winner
2014‘NOA’ Finalist
‘Signature Art Prize’, London, Winner – painting category
‘Griffin Art Prize’, London – Long listed
2013‘Clyde & Co Art Award’, London
Education
2016 – 2017City and Guilds of London Art School
MA HONS FINE ART
2008 – 2013Central Saint Martins School of Fine Arts
BA HONS FINE ART