"Yet he was more original than his originals. He breathed upon dead bodies and brought them into Life" Ralph Waldo Emerson, Letters and Social Aims
This series is currently in progress and the aim is to create a body of work which reimagines Shakespearian characters in their younger years.
"To look into the eyes of a wolf is to see your own soul" Native American Proverb
The idea of an animal soul or spirit animal is central to this series of work. It draws upon myths, fairytales, contemporary fiction and Shamanistic beliefs. Wolves, for example, represent the deepest levels of self and inner knowing. They are highly organised and social animals but also remind us that we still have our wild spirit. Deer have the ability to listen with grace and have appreciation for the beauty of balance and in myths they tempt us away from civilisation to explore our own magical and spiritual nature.
This series is about our kinship with animals and nature but also about our inner life - our instincts, our intuition and our nature.
La Loba (Wolf Girl), Oil on linen, 711 x 813 mm (2015)
Goddess I (Deer Girl), oil on linen, 760 x 510 mm (2015)
La Loba (Wolf Girl), graphite on paper, 420 x 594 mm (2014) - available as a limited edition print
Goddess I (Deer Girl), graphite on paper, 420 x 594mm (2014) - available as a limited edition print
Goddess II (Deer Girl), graphite on paper, 420 x 594 mm (2014) - available as a limited edition print
Thinking of Summer (2016 - 2018)
"In the long dusks of summer we walked the suburban streets through scents of maple and cut grass, waiting for something to happen" Steven Millhauser, Dangerous Laughter
Memories of summer always seem to lead you back to childhood. Its not a specific and clear memory but warm, nostalgic and definitely hazy around the edges: The smell of cut grass, the blossom on trees, birds chirping and the building of heat in the air and the feeling of freedom as school year ends and the long weeks which stretch ahead like eternity. Its about potential of experience, of daydreaming and of wonder.
During the child years of our lives we often have intense emotions which stay with us as adults and are invoked by music, seasons, places....and as adults we look back to the past with a mixture of longing and relief. I'm interesting in this subject because I think memories are an untrustworthy source and are part fact, part fantasy and part idealism - making our memories of childhood a fictional chapter in our lives.
Things behind the sun (2018), acrylic on board, 406 x 406 cm
The Girl in Pattern (Blue) (2018), acrylic on board, 400 x 500mm
Summer's Song, acrylic on panel, 300 x 300m (2017)
Honey & Milk I, acrylic on board, 254 x 254 mm (2016)
Honey & Milk II, acrylic on board, 254 x 254 mm (2016)
Pink Moon, acrylic on board, 300 x 300mm (2017)
Saturday Sun, acrylic on board, 300 x 300mm (2016)
Hazy Jane, acrylic on board, 457 x 508 mm (2016)
Summer Haze, acrylic on board, 300 x 600m (2017)
Thoughts of Mary Jane, acrylic on board, 230 x 230mm
Blossom Friend, pencil and pro-marker on paper, A3 (2016)
Hazy Jane II (Queen Bee), pencil and pro-marker pen on paper, A3 (2016)
Paper Doll Series (2010-2016)
"Memories of childhood were the dreams that stayed with you after you woke" Julian Barnes
Clothing and childhood have a special connection in my memories of growing up as my mum, a dressmaker, would make me quite elaborate party dresses. I remember lush turquoise velvet dresses, dresses with victorian aprons and crushed black velvet knickerbockers with voile chemises (it was the 1970s!). There always seemed to be fabrics and trimmings lying around the house and my mum's designs from her collage course which probably inspired me to draw as a child. This was my inspiration for Paper Dolls and those dolls with the cut out clothing which were popular then.
After working on the Paper Doll collages I began to create/design the patterns myself. In this series of work I've continued to use flat pattern juxtaposed with the more realistic treatment of the figures.
Party Girls, acrylic on board, 305 x 228 mm (2015)
Who am I?, acrylic on board, 203 x 203 mm (2015)
Anchor Boy, acrylic on board, 152 x 152 mm (2016)
Highway Boy, acrylic on board, 152 x 152 mm (2016)
Hoodie, acrylic on board, 40 x 40 mm (2016)
Captain Toadstool, acrylic on board, 40 x 40 mm (2016)
Paper Doll Collages (2010)
"Don't you wish you could take a single childhood memory and blow it up into a bubble and live inside it forever?" Sarah Addison Allen, Lost Lake
Paper Doll series was inspired by a childhood past time associated with dressing up and designing outfits for dolls. Paper dolls could be found in annuals and magazines such as Bunty and Judy.
In this body of work I’m interested in creating my own version of paper dolls and have been sourcing inspiration from illustration, pattern surface and fashion magazines. Rather than using models for my work I have started to reconstruct a paper doll from images from magazines, flat geometrical pattern or at times my own imagination and design.
Untitled I, graphite and collage, 297 x 420 mm (2010)
Untitled II, graphite and collage, 297 x 420 mm (2010)
Untitled III, graphite and collage, 297 x 420 mm (2010)
Untitled IV, graphite and collage, 297 x 420 mm (2010)
Untitled V, graphite and collage, 297 x 420 mm (2010)
Untitled VI, graphite and collage, 297 x 420 mm (2010)
The ideas around this series are linked to the notion of ‘childhood’ being synonymous with innocence and goodness, a romantic and idealistic view created by the Victorians and one which we continue to aspire to, if not uphold, in our society today.
I was interested in creating an ambiguous atmosphere in which I could explore how the viewer reacts if they sense something is not quite right. Most of the paintings are of life-sized children who stand alone on a dark painted background. Some of the children have their eyes closed except for two, who stare back at the viewer with considered confidence.
The viewer is the witness and how they interpret the work is part of the work. As an artist I didn’t have the answers to the questions posed – why are the children out alone at night? Why are their eyes closed? I was interested in setting the scene and allowing the viewer to complete the story.
Untitled (Emily III), Oil on linen, 1500 x 1000 mm (2006)
Untitled (Ethan), Oil on linen, 1500 x 1000 mm (2006)
Untitled (JD), Oil on linen, 1980 x 810 mm (2005)
Untitled (Lauren), Oil on linen, 1980 x 810 mm (2005)
Untitled (Emily I), Oil on linen, 660 x 660mm (2005)
Untitled (Emily II), Oil on linen, 660 x 660mm (2005)
Untitled (Chloe I), oil on canvas, 1110 x 870 mm (2004)
Untitled (Child under the table), oil on canvas, 1500 x 1450mm (2004)
Commissions (2007 - 2018)
"If I could say it in words there would be no reason to paint" Edward Hopper
My motivation in painting a portrait is to capture moments of reflection and the essence of a person's personality in an unposed manner. I work from photographs and will spend time with the sitter to try and capture an unreserved moment.
If you are interested in commissioning a portrait or, if you are inspired by my work and its no longer available you can commission me to create a piece of work for you, please contact me (link below) for details.
Emily (2018), oil on board, 609 x 457mm
Tucker, oil on board, 612 x 920 x 50mm
Sprout, oil on board, 500 x 500 x 22 mm
Eva (2017), acrylic on board, 400 x 400mm
Superhero (Liam), acrylic on board, 300m x 300m (2017)
Fig, oil on board, 608mm x 458mm (2017)
The Wish (Marianne), oil on linen, 300 x 600 mm (2007)
Boy, oil on linen, 910 x 760 mm (2009)
The Enchantress, oil on linen, 500 x 400mm (2008)
I'd rather be playing (Callum), pencil and pro-marker pen on paper, A3 (2016)