Born: Harpenden, UK, 1963
Studied: International School of Art, Montecastello di Vibio, Umbria, Italy, life drawing and sculpture with Nicolas Carone and Bruce Gagnier, met painter, critic and writer on art Andrew Forge and painter Ruggero Savinio, nephew of Giorgio de Chirico; Accademia di Belle Arti, Perugia, Italy; University of Hertfordshire; Hertfordshire College of Art & Design; Also, attended various art classes and workshops including film making with Jonty Lees at Tate St Ives and stone carving with Paul Mason at Barbara Hepworth's Palais de Danse studio, St Ives; St Ives School of Painting; New York Studio School; Slade School of Fine Art, London; Camberwell College of Arts, London
• Elected to Tate St Ives Members' Committee
• Taught drawing and painting at St Ives School of Painting
• Awarded Conrad Marca-Relli Scholarship, ISA, Umbria, Italy
Exhibitions: VINYL, Cultivate, Vyner Street, London; PRINT!, Exchange, Penzance; Mariners' Gallery, St Ives; Crypt Gallery, St Ives; ISA Gallery, Umbria, Italy
Aim: To create art that describes the familiar, while referencing the personal. If an artist employs a universal theme, like autumn or the loss of innocence, or character, like the lover or the martyr, then the viewer will recognise something from his or her own experience. Just as cues encountered in everyday life evoke recollections of the past without conscious effort. There are only so many incidents and plots in the world, it's just the details that change.
Process: The power of a work of art is associated with the ability of an artist to create increases in meaning for the viewer. But these increases in meaning are not achieved by simply making compositions more complex. Any increased complexitya manymust first conform to a higher concepta onebased on an experience or event, like the death of a loved one. If the addition of an element does not conform to this higher concept, then it must be discarded. Every element must sympathetically relate to every other one, so that it seems to comment on it and amplify it.
William Faulkner said that writers needed to kill their little darlings. It's a message about how, in order for inspiration to enter, you need to let go of the elements you're so in love with, to make room for something better.
These elements are incorporated and interwoven into a composition. They could be the marks in a drawing or a mix of materials and media: a photograph or a found object, like a postcard or a piece of silk ribbon, or a blog entry collected from searches online. A piece of silk ribbon might make you think of a sweetheart or a wedding or mourning card, embellished and decorated.
Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter. John Keats, 17951821
Strangely enough, this process is seen by the mind in reverse: the complexity of the composition is what is seen; the higher concept becomes understood by the viewer, but is unseen. Chekhov often expressed his thought not in speeches, but in pauses, wrote Stanislavski. It's here, in the spaces between the elements that the higher concept or content lies.
A work is finished when a memory returns as object. In a way, it's the viewer who makes a work.
Influences: Giovanni Bellini, Piero della Francesca, Pontormo, Christian Boltanski, Joseph Cornell, Lynn Chadwick
Acknowledgement: Bruce Director, What Mathematics Can Learn from Classical Music, Fidelio, Vol. III, No. 4, Winter 1994