Dark Series: changing seasons
These paintings follow on from past work that sat in relation to Bodmin Moor, Cornwall. The series holds a dark theme throughout, with some exceptions - but these still leverage a muted or subdued palette. Threading all the work together, I hope, is a sense of the sublime, ideas about wild landscapes, and a strong usage of colour.
I enjoy reflecting on the grit of the natural world, its rawness. Rugged weather and colder seasons are a keen interest. On a purely subjective level, I'm just drawn to the aesthetics; the colours of Autumn and Winter simply appeal to me, for example. I usually start from a place of feeling and instinct. Something develops inside, subconsciously perhaps, and I want to do something with it. I have to - if I don’t, I feel frustrated and on edge. It’s as much a compulsion as it is a passion, in that sense.
I think experiences build up and create tension, and this leads to expressing something artistically. I find it really hard to begin anything without this tension, that leads to a meaningful desire or impetus to create. When enough tension has built up, I might even call it a state of desperation - a sheer need to express something overwhelms; the work can no longer wait. With this development of tension, a sense of newfound clarity emerges: the time thinking about and experiencing the world teaches me how to achieve an expression I can stand by.
My approach also contains a desire to confront viewers with their inner associations and aesthetic sensibilities. When my work leaves my studio, it is as much about the viewer, as it is me - we all have unique lives, and this will produce an array of interpretations. I'm very interested in and open to the way my paintings are read by different people; I value how these differing readings reflect our lives and cultures. Additionally, though, I think common ideas about art do exist and can reflect deeper characteristics of what it means to be human.
On a theoretical level, I'm still unpacking what abstract art is, and how it works. I seem to always end up with an idea: abstract art underlines the real world. In ways, there's nothing particularly abstract about this kind of art. I believe we make sense of it through reference to our experiences, which take place in reality. It is another language used to refer to the world and the human condition. These internal and external landscapes are intrinsically connected, and so abstract art is, in fact, not so dissimilar to representational art. This is a basic starting point for future academic ventures.
Key inspirations include theorists and art critics, alongside a few painters, sculptors and photographers: Gilles Deleuze, Jean Baudrillard, Clement Greenberg, Hal Foster, Donald Judd, Mark Rothko, Sean Scully, Fay Godwin and Hiroshi Sugimoto. I should note, that the largest inspiration of my work comes from actual experience and my own work. I'm constantly reflecting on what I do, as a basis for what to do next.