“The precision of naming takes away from the uniqueness of seeing.” Pierre Bonnard
I paint figures who struggle, toil, dash or trudge through a wilderness. This may be a natural wilderness like a desert or an ice-field or it may be a bleak, impersonal public-space such as a superstore, banqueting hall or shopping mall. Such settings dwarf or challenge the human figure and are characterised by glaring light which exposes and blitzes him/her.
Set in difficult and exacting places, my figures are made even more vulnerable by my ‘iconoclastic’ style of painting which seeks to deface or undo them. They are attacked by marks and blots, they dissolve into acrylic fluidity or they morph into nameless shapes so that both figure and figurative representation are transformed. Metamorphosis, a key theme in all my work, includes metamorphosis into abstraction through which the named, known and identifiable image is turned into something unnamed and mysterious.
Guardian journalist Carole Jahme’s interview in my studio, below