I test out concepts of expanded painting, often making 2D works that transform into 3D. Underpinned by notions of imperfection, temporality, the structure of systems, and the balance of chaos and control, my processes fluctuate between playful and contemplative – both states being equal to, and dependant on the other.
I use aluminium foil as a substrate to work on for many reasons: it is cheap and readily accessible giving me the freedom to experiment with scale and form; it has great material properties – easily malleable, lightweight, reflective, and makes for a luscious surface to paint on.
The initial marks of my paintings come from drawings of pavements. I marvel at the hidden utility networks running just beneath our feet. Pavements are regularly cut up, innards operated on, removed, installed, replaced, covered, scarred. Like epic drawings, we become a part of, along with the weeds pushing through cracks, insects, excrement, and a plethora of discarded debris. But just underneath runs a phenomenal wealth of energy, water, and broadband networks.
I love working on a large scale with my whole body involved in moving paint around the surface. I work on the floor, using brushes, sponges, rags, and rubber gloves, stretching to the edge of my reach marks become less controlled and teeter out. Working with the heel of my gloved hand I slide and slip on the surface, creating heavy high energy marks as my weight bears down on the foil, areas of the hard floor just below become imprinted on the surface.
I move around a lot while painting, responding to colour, shapes, marks, and music. There is not a set orientation. I flip the painting over and smooth it down to work on the other side, building up layers and creating a high-speed patina as a document of the process.
For the repose series, I hold the dried painting over my head, and let it flop over me. Jump, dance, move around, shedding the urge to be precious yet keeping a level of care. I crouch down, let the painting settle over me, and crawl out and leaving the form to hold itself with the folds formed from my action.
I am fascinated by 2D becoming a 3D form and composition, with each side of the painting revealed. These forms are temporal and unique, each existence derived from my actions and the material surface gradually creasing into entropy.
I struggle with the complexity of the late capitalist age we live in. I feel the confusion and contradictions can lead to impotence. Yet, this is interesting to work within itself, for example, I have a conflict between the desire to make something beautiful and repulsion by notions of 'good taste' – as a signifier of obedience to the system and oppression of creative progress. There is a place for politics and joy to meet up and this is what I'm aiming for.
My colours are often bright, and bold, and the nature of the foil surface means their appearance is constantly changing due to reflections, multiple crease shadows, and the un-archival nature of foil gradually affecting the paint.
My paintings are defiantly never finished; in an ever-adapting status of iterations, vulnerable in the time they have yet strong, open, and active in creating the possibilities of their future. I see them as a portrait of my present self, intentionally pausing and absorbing information using all my strength to remain calm while processing the events happening in the world around us. Slowly building confidence, figuring out how not to be passive.
My works have varying speeds of entropic timelines, with particular points of their existence publically showing themselves in various altered states. There’s often a proud vulnerability in these moments as works reveal their aging cracks, tears, creases, and cuts. My work is a lot to do with the messy complications, and joy, of being fleetingly alive as much as it is to do with the mysteries of death and using the process of making to somehow connect way back to the language of our primal expressions.
My practice has been long influenced by the 1960's Italian movement Arte Povera for its liberating use of materials and processes away from the conditioned restraints of traditional art; the Japanese notion of Wabi-Sabi which acknowledges enigmatic beauty in the unfinished, imperfection, and impermanence; and her absolute belief in the importance of the freedom of learning through play.
Much of my resource material is taken from the radius which regularly surrounds me, often making drawings, photographs, or notes of typically human-made/built things – with human touched and weather aged patina all over it. Colours also come from all over, I love the outside environment, both natural and man-made. Flowers, leaves, bricks, railings, and digital input always offer great inspiration for colours, as well as being endlessly captivated with how light dramatically changes the appearance of colour.
As I get older I am learning to be more open to compartments of my life touching each other, as I notice the cross-pollination of previously considered disparate learnings are very helpful in improving my thinking, skills and abilities.
For over 20 years I have worked in the graphic design industry, initially training as a packaging artworker (technical production) and more recently building confidence with my graphic design and illustration skills working on animations and social media graphics.
I have two children and my husband and I have opted for a gentle parenting approach, which requires constant nurture, evaluation, and adaption. I have taken free parenting courses to enhance this approach.
I have been researching playwork for many years and continue to do so. Recently learning about approaches to how parks play facilities can be improved to cover all children age groups.
I am involved in local politics as an Independent Town Councillor and on the committees for local environmental groups, about to embark on a community lead project to improve our local park. I have a lot to learn but am loving meeting our local politicians, residents, and activists who are opening up a whole different view of where I live and how it can be improved.
My key focus is to build up more engagement with local democracy getting us all to use whatever agency we have to work collectively for positive action which will make a better future from grassroots up rather than top-down.