My paintings find a new purpose for the accidental marks and discarded objects (the traces of human activity) I discover wandering the city. The works are an exploration of choice – what to discard, what to keep, which accidents to allow to happen – and loss.
Like a slow diary
Compositions begin as photographs of paint marks, scrapes, stains and discarded objects combined with portraits of strangers. These elements are combined using photo-editing software (in a digital cut and paste approximation of collage); the process is one of instinctive accretion and deletion (one which leaves its own marks – glitches, electronic “ghosting” etc). Once a strong composition reveals itself the process ceases. The resulting photographic image is printed and used as a guide or “preliminary drawing” for a painting on canvas.
Why are you painting?
Working with paint places the work firmly in a tradition, making the work easily accessible and easier to contextualise for the casual viewer. The use of materials in my work is calculated. The paintings are made with workaday marks (like the whitewashes and graffiti cover-ups I am quoting), but the intention behind the composition is to imbue the paintings with the immediacy of advertising posters.
What’s that in the background?
My work is influenced by 1980s poster art, Brian Eno, Giorgio de Chirico, The Fall, Thee Oh Sees, concrete flyovers, discarded carrier bags, 1950s Bible Story illustrations, Graham Sutherland, limp ham sandwiches, lies, Malcolm Morley, hopeless politicians and Peter Lanyon.
The work originates from a need to interact with the city visually. I am looking to create a space that doesn’t exist – one that is disorientating but familiar, attractive and ugly, one that expresses loss and invents something new with what’s been left behind.