I came to practice art after working as a cook and waiter for about five years, then enrolling in and completing the Advanced Diploma in Fine Arts.
It was at this time that I found the print medium, a process through which I could explore diverse avenues with even more varying results. Having only experienced lino cutting, with negative results, etching was a revolution in how I saw art making. Painting had always appeared exhausted as a medium, and the third dimension comprehension needed for sculpture being a little lacking in me, discovering printing was like being revived. Extending my knowledge, refining my technique, and focusing my pictorial language is why I came to COFA.
The foundation of my work has always been drawing, and I find printing as the logical progression, retaining the malleable and tactile qualities of drawing, while adding a finished quality I had been looking for. The practical history of the medium solidified my connection, having come from a modest home, yet it constantly allows itself to be influenced by the modern, with the inevitable push of technology, without being consumed. Now in more quarters, you see the print rivaling the more popular media, yet is still arguably the most accessible.
And this is where I base my artwork. I see myself as a reactive-agent to the world, as not being interested in the self-indulgent, but in being a sounding board or medium. My opinions and beliefs are still embedded in the work, which is unavoidable, but through the work, I'd prefer to pose a provocative question rather than shout at the viewer. The themes most prevalent in my work are transitions and relationships between time, distance, space; the idea of the journey, without reference to start or destination, but the process of getting there.
The visual elements are random. I try not to premeditate an image, rather let the elements choose their own place. Gerhard Richter got it right in describing the picture making process as a series of yes/no questions with a 'yes' at the end, and his lovely quote: 'Accept I can plan nothing'. I want only to have a tentative hand in the control of development of a work. I believe the most beautiful, honest, moving images I’ve experienced are caught by the eye, and exist for just a small moment.
As an artist I'm trying to recreate these moments, whether beautiful, confronting or otherwise. My part is to keep the work succinct and simple. I'd rather converse with a work, be gently persuaded, than be pushed, pulled, and generally
confused. All facets of life beyond the art world seem to be geared to depriving humans of the contemplative time needed to absorb and process the constant bombardment of information.
I see art, or my art, as offering a different direction or perspective: instigating dialogue; at best, searching for some clarity and contentment; at least, giving ideas a small space to breathe in.