The paintings were initially intended to provide hope to the challenges present in today’s world. The remarkable ability of this species to return to their original destination and their integral place in the local area foodchain have been motivation for my work. Birth, decay, growth and rejuvenation are examples of the cyclical rhythms in life which have predominated my work over the past 5 years. Salmon swimming, emerging and reappearing between moving water, stones and light are used like a metaphor for these natural patterns. I strive to capture a moment of meditation, the sensuous perception of simple beauty — the kind of moment that has been lost in our ceaseless drive towards efficiency. It is the abstract essence of life forms that is at the source of my work which becomes for me a spiritual connection to nature. The large shipwreck paintings created in 2010 evolved from this emotion and suggest stories of a place where nature and human constructs connect.
Through experimentation and practice I have discovered a unique painting technique which is both visceral and involved and challenges materiality and representation. I first lay various liquid grounds on the painting surface while rotating the canvas in all directions. The physical demand to work quickly helps to capture the fleeting nature of the moment and avoids mental censorship. The resulting images emerge leading to a natural sense of fluidity. There is a constant interplay between letting things “happen” and controlling those “happenings”. Texture is added through wax and added collage, more paint ”pours”, rubbing and scratching into the surface and the application of transparent colour washes. While the initial process is quick and immediate the final stages of each painting can take more than a year to complete through careful applications of glazes and wax mediums.
Balance, emotion and the desire to touch are echoed by the process and the viewer, when left with the piece, is encouraged to relate to the tactile and visual qualities and contemplation of nature and our relationship with it. The richly textured surfaces capture and diffuse light in an intriguing way allowing the images to become illuminated as if from a light source which radiates beyond the surface.