In my painting process I often add and remove to create spontaneous marks which can then be manipulated into horizon lines. My landscapes have always been barren, devoid of mankind and animals. I often play with dystopian, post apocalyptic ideas as I am always drawn to wild and bleak places that I experienced growing up and travelling.
I spent early life growing up in rural Norfolk with lots of freedom to explore. SIgnificant family haunts permeate my memory. Warm and fun in the dappled light of late summer, but in the winter bleak and lonely. From Norfolk I enjoyed travelling South America, where again the rugged Patagonian landscape greatly appealed to me. I lived on the edge of the beautiful peak district for 8 yrs where my children were born and the prairies of Montana have a particular emotional connection for me. These places and memories naturally leach into my work without check.
As well as landscapes I have a series of work called Moths and Mould. I saw these as strange landscapes in their own right, however the source was a close up of a moth wing or mould, which I find impossible to describe how beautiful and ethereal mould can be. It is extraordinary stuff. My first interest in birds in particular rose from an article I read about the atrocities of the H- bomb on Christmas Island 1956-62, which informed a printmaking project on my degree course called Bird- Man.
The Crow has held a particular fascination for me for years, but I really noticed their presence everywhere after the death of my father. This became a familiar comfort raised around a series of coincidences, which became my own personal folklore.
During lockdown I began to make work using mezzotint because it was something I could lose myself in without taking up lots of space or having lots to clear up around my children. I soon became absorbed in the labor of love in the act of revealing the landscape or bird from the copper plate. It is a completely different way of working and I feel that I have maintained some of the spontaneity of my mark making albeit on a smaller, more controlled scale. Working in a range of dark tones, the true colour of the bird is absent, archived as if from an old book, before lithography transformed colour prints for widespread publication, perhaps from a time when the population of these particular birds was of no concern.
Witnessing the wonder of my children as they encounter beetles, butterflies and (above all) worms reinforces my concern about what may be missing from our landscapes and natural world in their future. BIrds are a symbol of freedom, if we lose them we will come crashing back down to earth, with a bump. The delicate connections and interrelations between us, our landscape, flora and fauna dictates the wider climate emergency. Through archiving these birds I hope to raise awareness of their individuality, unique characteristics and their personal histories, in the hope that they will not become merely another memory.