My practice involved developing a painterly language that is an amalgam of elements taken from both medieval and contemporary sources. I have developed a recent fascination with gargoyles that I use as a reoccurring subject due to their expressive forms and ability to simply represent a period of history that, as an artist, I am often drawn to for visual inspiration. I find the eerie, contorted forms of these ancient statues compliment the techniques and abstract marks that I begin my painting process with, using motifs, marks and structures that result from experiments inspired by research into contemporary artists, such as Fiona Rae, Laura Owens, David Salle, and Rose Wylie. Akin to the gargoyles, other sources such as strawberries, flowers, geometric shapes, and imagery appropriated from museum and gallery research have also been gathered and continuously layered within my work because they excite me, whether because of their shape, colour, or original meaning and function. Painting, layering, cutting, and collaging these different sources have changed their original format; prompting a decision to further distort the imagery on a scanner to make them more peculiar and devoid of any perceived roles. This straightforward process makes them more exciting as the forms and paints itself warped and twisted in ways that almost blend them in with the impulsive mark-making I start with, rendering them less obvious and even more unnatural in appearance. To continue this process of layering, I decided to use improvised tools such as kitchen sponges, cutlery, and string to produce shape, colour and depth that perhaps wouldn’t have been achieved if I had stuck with conventional artist’s tools. These later techniques are now the initial set of rules when creating my work, only allowing for changes in size and base colour before adding the imagery I gather from both primary and secondary sources. To push the work as far as I can, I cut up and add sections of unsuccessful work and bits of dry, old paint that I scrap off my palettes. Once destined for the bin, they become important mediums for my work; adding various, small pops of colour that help break up the space within my arrangements. Consequently, the final outcomes became a series of collaged imagery, techniques, marks, and mediums that I have playfully arranged on calico in ways that, to me, have intuitively felt right.
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