The feminine principle is at the heart of all my work which has an imminent unity of life and nature. By harnessing this energy, I celebrate human and animal form, my sexuality and the psychology of intimacy. To me, the physical act of creation evokes ancient archetypes, totems, and mythical rites that create a calculated catharsis that challenges my audience to see beauty in the simplest of things.
Recent ideas have developed using photo-montages, painting installations and objects that explore the primitive psyche and the psychogeography of a place – the places and spaces that have both a history and memory that I have a connection to are juxtaposed with a female mannequin (dressed with) and accompanied by an array of taxidermy animals from snakes, woodland animals, and birds. Observing how easy it is to lose a real sense of connection to ourselves and the natural world around us, these works ask the question, ‘what does it mean to be a 21st Century Woman?’
Ultimately, I want to arouse my audience by the means of a sensual intensity that brings them an understanding of their own existence.
“You only have to look at the Medusa straight on to see her. And she’s not deadly. She’s beautiful and she’s laughing.”
21ST CENTURY WOMAN SERIES (2018) – work in progress
THE MUSE IS EXHAUSTED SERIES (2017)
Hybrids of infamous muses and mythical creatures, these ambiguous portraits with their empty eyes and translucent, cellular bodies, are a reflection of ourselves in the form of carnivalesque demons, animals and goddesses. This new series, The Muse is Exhausted, explores the relationship of the gaze and the gaze turned in on itself and to the primordial goddesses of myth and imagination. In a world preoccupied with the communication of self and image and a culture of looking and being seen, these portraits pose existentialist questions of who and what we are.
All paintings made with charcoal, pastel, acrylic and spray paint on gesso primed canvas. Maud is painted on 300 gsm Saunders waterford paper. Sizing – figures: 120 x 150cm and portraits: 60 x 70 cm.
PHOENIX & LITTLE WING SERIES (2016-2017)
This is an existential body of work that focuses on the transformation of life form, creating a sense of visual intrigue and material presence. The physicality and expansion of scale takes on a metamorphic quality that occupies an ambiguous space – fragile, transient, ethereal. The polarities between consciousness and unconsciousness; memory and ambiguity; self and other; death and rebirth (although the dialogue has a personal narrative) has universal significance.
YOU NEVER STOP SWIMMING UNTIL YOU REACH THE OCEAN SERIES (2016)
You Never Stop Swimming and the Peekaboo series are a series of drawings and paintings where the same or similar images are drawn again and again with charcoal, acrylic and various spray paints and varnishes. The repetition of image, scale and dimension creates a sense of visual intrigue and material presence, the objective is to entice the viewer to stop and take in the work at a pared-down pace.
The tension between light and dark, form and matter and the image pushing out from the boundaries of the surface are important qualities to this series. The layers are built up over time and the mark making is hard, soft, feathery, pitted, dense and translucent. The palette is monochromatic and simplified to focus purely on the image structure which starts its journey from a series of photos observed and taken directly from my own body. Pencil and charcoal studies are drawn initially from the images until I isolate and hone in on the form chosen to scale up.
These paintings are ambiguous, faceless and anonymous; the concentration is on the pelvis, hips and legs. They are seductive and meant to tease, subvert and celebrate the female form, developing a dialogue with the patriarchal history of the ‘female nude’. The geometry of a woman’s body is a metaphor for a landscape, which has been formed by millions of years a geological metamorphosis and in these works, the imagery takes on a perspective as a language of body and landscape. However, the square format defies the interpretation of a landscape, the boxing in creates a further tension of wanting to break free. Questions are asked if these works are representative of sections of a woman’s body or by analogy, they relate and become part of our imaginative experience.
PEEKABOO SERIES (2015-2016)
STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS SERIES (2014-2015)
This series of works took me on a journey of analysis: about remembering, forgetting, existence and transcendence. Painting is a product of the mind; a translation from inner to outer, giving form and visual existence to things which have no substance within our minds and bodies: thoughts, ideas, desires and emotions. In these circular canvases and over-drawn digital images I have made studies of walnuts and root ginger that echo the organs of the body they nourish – the brain and stomach, linking the brain/gut connection. It interests me how patterns, surfaces and matter that grow in nature are echoed in parts of the human body itself. By fusing the objects with human hair and milkweed, I began to write my own myths and stories. Myth and memory are at the foundation of the work, it’s here that I can tell stories that are deeply personal, a separation from ordinary life, intimate and specific to the moments of experience, opening awareness of passing time and the rhythms that govern one’s life.
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