Briefly, describe your art practice? My practice is intrinsically material and process driven. I approach painting in a way that borders on compulsive and embraces my obsessive tendencies. I love colour, layering and combining contradictory materials, such as traditional oils with industrial varnishes and sprays; this suggests something alchemic in my way of working. I both embrace and attempt to restrain the accidental within my paintings, as uncontrolled pours of liquid paint layer with laser cut stencils and meticulous areas of hand painting. Chaos and control exist in a delicate tension.
What inspires you to make art work? The act of painting is what inspires me, the bringing together of physical materials and controlling the way they react to each other; its exciting and challenging but also makes me feel focused and calm, like a meditation. Intense pattern or detail within a surface is fascinating to me, whether it’s in natural rock formations or in golden medieval icon paintings. I often work very close up to my paintings and picking out small, jewel like areas within the surface is usually what excites me most about a painting.
Explain the basis of your art project for The Bonkers Contemporary Show For The Bonkers Contemporary Show, I wanted to make a very large painting that would have the effect of overwhelming the viewer. Many of my recent paintings have referenced particle level chemical reactions and their connection to the processes used to make the painted surface. In this new work blossoming networks of graphic shapes and dynamic movements within the layers of composition suggest an explosion, a splitting apart of matter.
Who are your role models artistically? Matisse, Klimt, Yves Klein… Fiona Rae and Chris Ofili, I’ve loved their work for years. Most recently I’ve been interested in Kerstin Bratsch, I think her painting is really exciting.
What do you think is your most AMAZING achievement in art today? Perhaps perseverance! Being an artist can be tough and demoralising at times but I still want to get up and paint every single day. In terms of awards, I was given the Barns-Graham Travel to Italy Award by Edinburgh University in 2016 and used it to go on an extended research trip to Florence to see amazing churches full of frescos and icons. It felt like a huge achievement because it gave me such an important opportunity and I know the trip will influence my art practice for years to come.
Describe your art in 5 words. Precious. Intense. Glowing. Visceral. Obsession.