Inside the Studio
How do you interpret abstraction in your art?
We learn to identify physical form from the non-physical sort by remembered experience. I interpret abstraction in my work as a set of continuous repetitious patterns or marks that visualize the physical and visual remembered experience.
When and how did you find out about winning the showdown?
My partner went to check the results as I was too nervous too. You get used to rejection in art but its very disappointing. When I heard great shouts from upstairs I knew it was good news. I found out about winning the showdown the day the announcement came out. Due to living in the UK – this was about midnight.
What themes do you pursue?
Landscape has always been where my work has been focused. Making the connection with the visual experience of landscape and the physical experience of it. My work gives the impression of texture without there being any – we look at a field but upon entering it our experience changes.
What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
“Things will always change. You have to change with them.”
What is your medium?
I use oil paint and watercolor. I use them in similar ways as I do not see them as different as both can be manipulated to achieve the same goal.
Where is your studio?
My kitchen is my studio. I have produced large pieces of work from there “paperlandscape” was a painting made up of 40 individual canvases – when assembled it was 15ft x 7ft. I only saw it as a whole once, before it was publicly shown.
How many years have you been an artist?
Always looked at things my own way. Always had difficulty understanding things. Always needed to say something. Always loved painting and drawing – being conscious of that process lead me to choosing art has a way to live.
Art school or self taught?
I went to art school and have continued to work on developing my visual language. Art school allowed a space where I could execute my influences. Upon leaving I could execute my identity.
Why do you make art?
I wanted to understand how I functioned as a person because I felt unable to address this by other forms of work. Art seems to be a way of manufacturing sets of processes which enabled me to see how I relate to my environment.
Food or sleep?
A piece of art you love?
The piece of work that changed the way I saw myself was Joseph Beuys “Fat Chair”. I remember thinking why do I feel sick when looking at this piece of work. I have never forgotten it and I always think of it when I am struggling to find solutions.
Favorite contemporary artist?
Agnes Martin – I love the simplicity of her work – it is uncluttered and allows the viewer to time to think.
What do you collect?
Nothing and this is important to me.
What could you not live without?
Finish the sentence: “I would never be caught dead…..
Absailing down a cliff with Bear Grylls, Unfortunately.
Prefer to work with music or without?
Birds singing – sometimes you can forget to listen to them if you get lost in yourself – they always remind me where I am.
Sketchbook? Do you use one? What type?
I always use sketchbooks could not do without them.
Is painting dead?
Painting is a tool like any other art form. I chose paint because it has qualities that fulfill my abilities.
Painting inside or outside?
I paint inside – due to the nature of the work I produce I have no need to view the scene as a whole. I use photography to look at colour, shapes and pattens. Function is applied when faced with a set of continuous rhythms across a surface.