It was April last year when I found out I was lucky enough to be selected for a Cass Material Arts bursary as being one of part of Made in Arts London’s (MiAL) featured artists. This bursary provided me with much appreciated Cass vouchers to spend on whatever I wanted within the store.
Over a year later and I am still benefiting hugely from this. Much of my work over the last 12 months particularly has been focusing on playing with more mixed media and different surfaces in my art using the material that I have bought. As one would expect sometimes the experimentation goes well, sometimes it doesn’t. But that’s all good and necessary when it comes to making art.
I have been focusing on a lot of small work; 8 x 8 “, on board – continuing to focus on corners, pathways and little wild bits of the urban environment that we might pass by every day. I have still been using digital photography as the first step of my process recording a particular scene which I then transfer on to the wood board. From here things may change dramatically. After ensuring the surface is ready to work upon, I have been using a mixture of water colour pencils, pastels and pens and oil paints.
Visually it is not a huge stretch in terms of difference between my previous processes and materials, but has allowed me to see the subtlety of variance in the effect of the materials. This subtlety mirrors that which I am trying to portray. Fleeting, ephemeral, out of the corner of one’s eye, texture, beauty and ugliness packed together in a kind of natural urban collage.
The surfaces are not smooth – they are rough and sometimes kind of gritty. Patches of gloss sit aside matt and faded markings. Brush, pencil and finger painting is evident. The original digital photograph acts a springboard or a trace of what is to evolve – the final piece of art being something that is deliberately not polished or perfect but a combination of reality and man-made illusion. Such is our world around us.