I am currently interested in the domestic space and the objects and artworks made and used therein. As an artist working from a home studio, I am fascinated by the value given to objects and what turns them into works of art. My current practise utilises found media, locally sourced from charity shops. I have been working on old books, ceramic vases and cheap figurines, mass produced objects envisioned to decorate, populate and personalise one’s home, yet now discarded and forgotten on these shelves, hoping for a new owner.
I choose to work on surfaces that suggest or inspire what and how I choose to paint, giving new life to these items, letting them play a different role; yellowing books on antique glass, flower pressing and needlepoint litter the shelves and suggest a semi redundant 1970’s style of homemaking and taste, addressing outdated feminine pursuits and domestic crafts. As well as working on book pages which are often heavily patterned or coloured, I have utilised wallpaper samples with traditional and familiar motifs such as flower sprigs and damask and un-primed plywood with its obvious grain and golden colour. Images are layered, almost collaged in their making, some literally spliced and assembled, referencing what was originally there, working with the object, and against it, transforming and highlighting. With that happenstance the finished piece is never premeditated, and therefore the surface is just as important as the beautiful or bastardised resulting image. The paint or pitted clay itself is as powerful an enticement as the carefully chosen imagery; a slippery, fallible, distortive tool.
My work has always been concerned with imagery that is slightly off kilter, exaggerated or fabricated, subverted from magazine pages, my own photographs, and old master paintings. Inspired by Technicolor film sets, or starkly lit deliberately contrived and manufactured environments which are oddly dreamlike and static. More recently paintings have been suggested by uncanny museum painted dioramas, reflections in glazed paintings and dusky windows, figures strategically illuminated by phosphorescent fish tanks. I like the duplicity of unnatural lighting; the backlight quality that renders everything vaguely two dimensional and cut and pasted and fake, and working generally from a photograph further heightens this lack of naturalism. I regard my works as being a still from a story or film, caught up in a moment, the image paused; sometimes melodramatic, sometimes fragments of quiet and uneasy tension.