Statement

Paintings, painting installation, drawings and text work - working on canvas, paper, wood, and aluminium as well as more temporary surfaces.

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I am drawn to the perception of movement in an otherwise static painting. For me the surface of the painting is temporal, mobile, and constantly shifting; accumulating meaning over time.

The central focus of my practice are the processes associated with the material conditions of appearance at the surface of the painting: mark, gesture, qualities of surface and the mechanics of image formation. Driving the work is my fascination with the anomalous, non-lingual and libidinal, alongside real-world concerns regarding the ecological relationship between human and other life forms.

Paint is applied through pressure and compression, manipulating through stippling, dragging, smearing and removal. It is an archaeological process that reveals a territory of marks, stains and eroded paint. These fragments suggest spaces only partially seen, which I follow. There is a sense of travelling, where one space suggests the next - navigating across sensory thresholds. Foregrounded is a sense of desire, a need to see what lies beyond.

I think about the mutability of matter within deep time and work with it as a circular, repeating entity, layered and spiralling. Brush marks are used as scaling devices, echoing fractals in the natural world where the same pattern or structure repeats at different scales and sizes. This creates a movement in which nearness and distance, micro and macro, shift in perception. Each painting is constructed through accretion: an accumulation of matter and space through process, intentional marks and gestures.

Throughout, my practice is an exploration of this fluid space between the touchable, visible world, the bodily interior and the labyrinths of psychological space. A dance and choreographic process is at play in the unfolding of the work through the relationship between my body, that of the viewer and the ‘body’ of the painting.

In paintings such as Butcher Bird and the earlier Perfect Cannibal and Triboelectric series, I visualise the painting as a form of entity. I approach this through the philosophical and artistic counter tradition of the grotesque, the formless and uncanny. The grotesque is generally associated with an ugly or deformed imagery, but it can also be thought of a particular perceptual movement, of something simultaneously being there and not there, as put forward by Geoffrey Harpham in his writing on the grotesque. It is associated with the illegitimate and what shouldn’t be. A painting shouldn’t look back at you and yet they do. I am always waiting for something to stare back.