Human habits and social behaviour inform an improvised process which combines collage, painting, and installation, sometimes of a public nature and not limited to the environment of a gallery.
Allotment gardens, makeshift shrines, carnivals, protest signage and handwritten notes are some of the found forms of human expression which intrigue and stimulate my arts practice. I’m interested in the cultural artefacts and experiences that are created for celebration, mourning, demonstration, worship or survival which allow us, for a brief moment, to journey psychologically within the joy, sadness, meditation and belief, and freedom or dependence of our fellow beings.
I set out with a phenomenological approach to making works in an attempt to understand states of anxiety and serenity in the realms of spontaneous decision making and pre determined systems. I run experiments where the process often determines the outcome and provides a safe arena for improvisation, a place where rational procedures can co- exist alongside intuition.
Practices such as the manufacture of certain motifs, utilisation of modular grid systems and the employment of repetition are borrowed from industry and design to create a more self-effacing visual vocabulary which is governed in part by a set of rules as opposed to human authorship.
Repetition and pattern is something that has developed instinctively as a way of eliminating anxiety from my studio practice. Its nature is cyclic and oscillates between order and disorder, uncertainty overpowering certainty and vice versa. You could also say that free will and determinism is explored through the discord between brush gestures and systematic structure.
There are a combination of basic technologies within the work. To collage as a technique to make work is to be non-committal to any one piece. Parts of works can move from canvas to canvas until there is a mutual advancement in the development and satisfaction calls for a final commitment. Anxiety over an uncertain outcome is therefore removed. In the second technology the surface of the paper is artwork in opposing colours, front and back. The creation of a work involves the flipping of forms to reveal alternatives. A constant reminder of possible change and option whilst attempting to resolve a visual problem.
Other main concerns are of bio social parameters. My ice cream and plastic colour pallet might be described as kitsch or lurid. Paper, my primary material, is usually associated with preliminary works and the printing of mass produced images. The use of pattern harks towards decoration and functional design. All exist to antagonise the viewer’s anxiety around pre existing expectations of what is deemed intellectual or high brow.
Beyond studio practice my research into human habits includes the observation of micro communities such as allotment gardens. I spent 18 months working from an allotment shed and over time made comparisons between the patterns of planting arrangements created by allotment gardeners to encourage growth and the social segregation patterns which we are currently witnessing at a time of hardening attitudes to both disadvantaged people and immigrants.