The paintings and drawings I construct often respond to the constant need to remind myself about my experiences, roots and the places to which I once belonged. I don’t feel my memory is something I can trust: it’s an elusive world, where time is understood not as a linear narrative but rather as simultaneous sensory perceptions.
These images will become my memory in the more tangible form of paintings, drawings and prints which, as time moves on, will always be within reach whenever I feel like going back in time. A fixed visual image, unlike other art forms, cannot unravel its narrative in time. The evidence of process remains in the work, which often has a sense of incompleteness. The paintings seem paused as much as unfinished.
The themes of absence and presence are explored through the act of painting. I’m always excited when I begin a new series of work, but often find after a painting is completed that it recalls a piece of work from the distant past: the painting is often a memory of a memory.
Painting is a voyage, a happenstance disguised as certainty, viewed through the legacy of personal and forgotten histories. My work is concerned with the subtle passages of time, the hidden interval: my intention is to evoke in the viewer an experience of empathy and recognition from their own lives.
My early years were spent in South Wales, where the landscape and people made a great impression on my visual memory. It was an unstable world: grimy steel industry, pit closures, accidents and the threat of the Cold War. Overwhelming natural beauty and a pitiless, wind-and-rain-scoured grandeur formed the context of my early life.
My paintings don’t seek to be a representation. The image is drawn from the inconsistency of memory and the limits of imagination. The elusive world within memory is where particles of life disperse and cluster: a world where time is understood not as a linear narrative, but rather as a simultaneous bombardment of sensory perceptions. For me, what is particular to painting – for example: time taken, layering, the evidence of the body which made the marks – is the form of mediation which makes possible an investigation of the affective aspects of these issues, in clear dialogue with the theoretical.
For me, it’s not possible to separate the manner of the technique from the emotional impact I want to project through the content of my work. My interest is in the convergence of the figurative and the abstract, and in evoking a feeling from the past through the painting process.
MA Fine Art Middlesex University, 2006
BA Fine Art Byam Shaw, London
Foundation Bournville, Birmingham
Nov 14 – Jan 15
Selected Group: ‘Borders’ – Bernard Weatherill House, Croydon
Oct – Dec 14 Selected Group: Brynmawr Heritage Festival, Wales
June 2013 Selected Group: ‘Feminist Times’ – Online
Selected Group: ‘It Is Green’ – Cultivate Gallery, Vyner St, London E2
July 2011 Selected Group: ‘Oh Open’ – People & Portraiture, Oxford House
June 2011 Group show: Curated Kings Hill, Kent
March 2010 Selected Group: ‘BRICK’ – The Gallery in Redchurch Street
August 2009 Selected: Cork Street Open – Cork Street, London W1
May 2009 Selected Group: ‘CRAC’ – Hackney Empire. London E8
June 2008-13 Group Show: Curated June Frickleton DMH, London WC2
April 2008 Selected: ‘Artandaid’ – Red Cross Exhibition, Hague, Neths
July 2007-12 Selected: Barnet Open, Artsdepot, London N12
March 2007 Selected Group Show: ‘New Art’ – Birmingham
March 2007 Group Show: ‘Women’s Work’ – Arts Centre, Basingstoke
February 2007 Group Show: Historic Dockyard, Portsmouth
Oct 14 – Jan 15 ‘Landscape & Memory’ – Psychotherapy Centre, London NW5
July – Aug 10 ‘Sanctuary’ – Tavistock Centre, 120 Belsize Lane, London NW3
Sept 2009 ‘Figures in a World’ – London Psychotherapy Centre, London NW5
Oct – Dec 08 ‘Change’ – Cloisters, Pump Court Inner, Temple, London WC1
April 2007 ‘What Lies Beneath’ – Pittstudio & Gallery, Worcester
Nov 2007-14 Open Studio: Chocolate Factory, London N22