Informed by my subjective experience, my artistic practice addresses both the intrinsic beauty and chaos of life. It is self-medication, where my relationship with my mind and body is translated into the abstracted and figurative depictions of the human form, typified in my work. My practice blends with my commissions, all elements of my work complimenting and informing one another. To share a little of what makes me tick, my intention is to document my artistic and personal journey as it evolves, including all that has shaped it. Get in touch and be a part of the discussion, as I explore topics that dive deeper into themes of reality.
Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) inspired my focus on compositional values through his spiritual theories of abstract art — resulting in abstract paintings, which I later developed. Considering that “the more abstract is form, the more clear and direct its appeal” (Kandinsky, 1977, p. 32), I experimented to see if this was relevant within my work. I found greater success without total abandonment of form, but included floating geometric shapes to abstract figural elements, considering the spiritual impact of composition and finish.
Kandinsky, W. Concerning the Spiritual in Art (1977)
Annie Besant and Charles W. Leadbeater hypothesised that human consciousness “extrudes into the external world” (Tillett, 1986, p. 224) as thought-forms, inspiring me to focus not only on figural elements but on the surrounding space, considering how the emotions of the subject could distort the areas around them. I translated this through varied applications of paint — frantic scratches, liquidus drips or careful blending — dissolving the subject into their thoughts.
Perhaps the greatest influence to my development as a painter. It offers the liberating view, that when one listens to their intuition and lets go of expectation and inhibition, what is created is authentically perfect. With this mindset, one can tune into their emotions, mind, and body, and let the creative energies flow through them onto the canvas, letting go, without fear of making mistakes. It also allows for the painterly process very physical, and I fell in love with loosening up and using my body expressively and energetically. To me, is means total self-expression, and tapping into something mystical and spiritual, almost as if the artist has become a conduit to the creative spirit of the universe.
“Characterised by gestural brush-strokes or mark-making, and the impression of spontaneity.”
“Action painters — directly placed their inner impulses onto the canvas”
“Colour-field painters — deeply interested in religion and myth… created simple compositions with large areas of colour intended to produce a contemplative or meditational response in the viewer.”
— (Tate, n.d)
The importance Lee Krasner (1908-1984) gave to intuition — of “inner rhythm” and “inner voice” (reminiscent of Kandinsky’s “inner necessity” (Sadler, 1977, p. 29), heavily inspired my process and attitude towards painting — urging me to have the confidence to make bold and gestural brushstrokes, choosing to leave negative space for effect. My physical painting process became more spontaneous, expressive and free, as I attempted to tap into a spiritual flow.
Mark Rothko (1903-1970) intended his paintings to offer a spiritual experience, through scale and vast expanse of colour. This inspired the scale of my paintings and my exhibiting of the largest three together, forming a triptych, increasing their impact. Rothko inspired my washes of prussian blue glaze to add depth, accentuating emotional feeling to evoke a spiritual resonance in the viewer, with the aid of figural elements.
“Floating rectangles of luminous color on enormous canvas, manages simultaneously to convey a deep sensuality and a profound spirituality that evokes a numinous feeling” — Yoon, 2010, p. 53.
My use of oil paint is inspired by Andrew Salgado’s (1982) intricate and colourful paintings, innovatively depicting the human form, showcasing many possibilities of the medium. Combining representational elements with abstract and figurative configurations, shapes and patterns, Salgado inspired a broadening of my colour-palette, new ways of distorting figures with geometric shapes and unconventional colour, investigating a range of tools and oil mediums.
“I believe in a deeply ordered chaos in my work,” Francis Bacon (1985) The South Bank Show. Bacon’s work influenced my own thematically through his engagement with Existentialism — “violent and contorted figures… bleak in their depiction of the existential anguish of the individual” (Tate, n.d.). His 1944 triptychs inspiring me, their “arrangement [being] of such disturbing originality” (Ficacci, 2006, p.13), describing “some undefined and inhuman violence that occurred in an unseen space and time beyond the limits of the painting” (ibid), inspiring my large triptychs, seeking to express similar elements of the existential dread. Bacon’s grotesque manner smearing of paint influenced figural elements — faceless beings, and long, tentacle-like fingers.
Andrew Salgado. Peter Doig. Wassily Kandinsky
Absurdism. Existential Philosophy. Adlerian Philosophy
Alan Watts. Carl G. Jung.
READS & LISTENS
Eckhart Tolle. A New Earth
Dr Joe Dispenza. Becoming Supernatural
Dr Michael Greger. How Not To Die
Napolean Hill. Think & Grow Rich
Consciousness • Death & Life • Spirit & Soul • The Body
For over half my life, I have experienced sleep paralysis, a sleep disorder that takes place in the hypnagogic state, where one becomes conscious, while the body remains asleep. I often wake up unable to move or make a noise, with sensations of being touched and pulled by invisible forces, and even the experience of being out the body. Fascinated by the occult and the supernatural from a young age, I was quick to put these occurrences down to the paranormal; naturally. I later discovered what sleep paralysis actually is, which did little to curb the dread I felt going to bed, even with the knowledge that what I felt and heard were auditory and sensory hallucinations. The relentless repetition and intensity of these episodes imbued in me a questioning of consciousness, and the existence of a soul as separate from the physical body. Raised with Christian beliefs, I would resort to prayer as the hallucinations grew increasingly malevolent, despairing at their total lack of alleviation. In research, I came to discover a new term for my experiences, astral projection, subsequently becoming acquainted with Eastern Spirituality. The viewpoint from which I was approaching my situation left me helpless, whereas this alternate spiritual mode of thinking gave me the power as an individual soul, to combat my nightly terrors. While I still experienced fear and anxiety, I later learned to let go and accept these episodes, leading to the sensation of leaving my body, along with incredibly vivid, eye-opening lucid dreams.
For the duration of my life, I have battled in my relationship with my own body. With an unrelenting inner dialogue, and prone to compulsive and obsessive behaviours, I often fall victim to my own self-destructive tendencies. Part of me seems to forever seeking to destroy the form I find myself in. These anxieties are described in my art, whereby through abstracting the human form, and commonly working from images of my own body, I am able to self-soothe, and exercise acceptance of both my mental and physical state.
Quantum Physics • Parallel Worlds • Universal Energy • Manifestation • Synchronicity
The theory of numerous realities existing around us simultaneously, inspires a use of fragmentation and abstraction in my work It reflects that what we see as physical is not permanent.
There exists more than what we perceive as reality.
Themes: Buddhism, Feminine. Kali, Mara. Life is an illusion.
Feminine Divine: Flowers & Fertility
The Age of Aquarius in the New Age Movement proposes the return to Divine Feminine and higher states of frequency. In keeping with this new feminine energy, and after a rediscovery of Feminist theory, a personal exploration and self-evaluation was sparked. Specifically, concerning ideas surrounding ideals of feminism and fertility, and new appreciation for the female form. I felt an inner-shift in beginning appreciating the potential impact patriarchal ideals have imposed on my personal self-view all my life. It was in many ways liberating, to realise that many of my personal anxieties stem from external values, that do nothing to serve me - and can be released. In the light of amenhorrea, I reflected deeply on my relationship with my body, appreciating for the first time, its natural ability to create life. I pondered the possibility of whether this would ever be a gift unavailable to me, through self-inflicted ill-health, and how differently I would view my own form, if it was unable to carry out its natural and traditional purpose. Fascinated with the power of the female body to bring forth new life, I started a series of sketches depicting the female anatomy, adorned and morphed with natural and floral imagery, reflecting our intrinsic bond with Nature and Mother Earth. I recognise that I use traditional depictions of femininity: soft, and delicate, and of course, identifying as female does not require an adherence to this representation. Part of my research is an exploration of my own association with gender. There is a lot to unpick, and this is a topic I have always wanted to explore, especially as we are all conforming to limiting societal cultural norms unknowingly.
"In times of peace the warlike man attacks himself", Nietzsche.
We will never be the same again. Covid-19 shook the world, uprooting the conventional way of life, and giving each person a dubious amount of time with their own thoughts. My experience of being locked down in the UK is one I am sharing, as it prompts me to comment on the severe detriment caused to mental health, and in doing so, to open up about my own personal struggles with my mind and body. My intention in covering these themes, is to dispel the stigma surrounding them, and if anyone reading may relate to what I describe, to bring a sense of solidarity and encouragement.
Mental health informs my art, in the way everything in my life informs my practice. It allows me to express my anxieties by abstracted and describing my own body through paint and other mediums. My demons were so exacerbated by isolation, of being stuck in my own head, that my obsessive and compulsive traits became dangerously extreme. I became unable to eat outside of a small time frame, continuously restricted my intake of food, and resorted to exercising far, far more than necessary. My loss of weight was shocking, especially as I had always been very fit and healthy, and had there been no intervention, I genuinely think I would have done irreversible damage to my body.
Dr Joe Dispenza in Becoming Supernatural. The Unified Energy Field