“The precision of naming takes away from the uniqueness of seeing.” Pierre Bonnard
I paint figures (and other creatures) who toil, dash or trudge through wilderness. This may be natural wilderness—a desert, a tropical forest or an ice-field—or it may be a bleak public space such as superstore, casino, banqueting hall or shopping mall. Such settings challenge the figure and are characterised by glaring light which exposes and blitzes it.
Set in difficult and exacting places, these figures are also made more vulnerable by my ‘iconoclastic’ method of painting which seeks to deface or undo them. I enjoy the messy, mutable and unpredictable nature of paint to create figures who are similarly in flux. They are objects of abjection: attacked by marks and blots, dissolved into acrylic fluidity or turned into nameless shapes so that both figure and figurative representation are transformed and destabilised. Metamorphosis, central to all my work, includes metamorphosis into abstraction through which an identifiable image is turned into something unnamed, threatening and mysterious.
Guardian journalist Carole Jahme’s interview in my studio, below