I don’t have a fixed idea of what I am trying to do, instead I see myself as an artist magpie putting together thoughts, feelings, images, and memories to make an image that holds together, intrigues and excites me.
The Shanghai series was borne out of a recent 5-month artist residency in Shanghai. The beauty of being in a completely new environment is the ability to see the world through fresh eyes again. The simplest things observed can form the basis of an idea. Living in an old lane house I became fascinated by the clothes hung across the lanes from house to house. They were reminiscent of figures suspended in space, with the age and texture of the clothes acting as a metaphor for the history of a person. They seemed both sad and graceful at the same time.
The woodcut prints of birds and rats use animals as a ‘stand in’ for human beings. I wanted to create a tension in the prints between the beautiful/decorative quality of the surface but also a darker undercurrent contained in the imagery, and to see whether it was possible to elevate the insignificant or discarded to something that possessed grace and grandeur.
With the black and white series of monoprints I wanted to create images that could be landscapes in their own right rather than representations of landscapes. The figurative is made present through a mark travelling through and across the landscape rather than any type of recognizable form. The strong object like quality of the forms was combined with a transparent space that receded into the distance.