It’s been a while since I wrote my last blog – December and January seemed to pass me by. It got me a thinking about 2015 and what I felt I learnt and achieved in respect to my art practice. I find it’s very easy to feel down-hearted when things get a bit quiet and to so easily forget those times when it all seems to be happening. Certainly in the first half of 2015 I managed to exhibit my work in a number of exhibitions, I won the 2015 Cass Art Materials Bursary, and had published a few interviews including a-n, CASS and Made in Arts London. I also joined Zeitgeist Art Projects and attended a few of their networking and advice events. So all in all – not a bad run. More importantly, I did a lot of experimenting within my practice, specifically trying out new and alternative surfaces, some new products and changed processes combined. Yes, the results have been mixed, but I relish the adventure, creativity and learning curve and these things in themselves inspire me to carry on.
I have attempted to start 2016 with great gusto. I have 3 exhibitions I will be involved in imminently, written up another interview for someone (yet to be published) and have managed to get my work in the UK Vogue advertising features for 3 months. Let’s see how that goes.
I have been working on 2 paintings over the last couple of months on and off. The first is called ‘Encounter’ and the other ‘Some other place’. They are a further continuation and exploration of my more traditional method of printing digital montages and then painting onto these, focusing on old cities as my inspiration.
Within these digital works, I have attempted to get lost amongst the hard lines, light, patterns and shadows. I like to focus on alternative and almost nonsensical ways into the work. It may not seem obvious but MC Escher is one of the inspirations for these paintings – particularly for ‘Encounter’ with its odd angles and spaces within spaces. It’s a building but not a building, made of other buildings, both the inside and the outside all at once so that the eye has trouble trying to grapple with it. It leaves the viewer no choice but to wander down the passage way to the side of it and then travel up somehow to the sky. In my other painting ‘Some other place’, there is a dichotomy between the closeness of aspects of an old city to that which is in the distance. The eye skims over the walls, tiles, peeling paint, a moving tram, rooftops and windows, elaborate church alter and ornate archway – the reprieve being the suggestion of somewhere else such as the unseen road to which the tram travels, the butter yellow sky and glimpse of another city in the distance.
Both paintings continue to explore my interest in the ebb and flow of the photographic digital mark versus the painterly and between reality and the imagination.