My work is created using twisted and folded pieces of canvas and muslin laid onto the canvas base. It is essentially about illusion. Tone and depth are important elements. The surface of the fabric is textured with peaks and troughs, nooks and crannies. These provide areas of dark and light on the paintings. The folding of the fabric and application of paint create optical effects. The work plays with how the eye can misread what is in front of us.
In the dark I have seen a bunch of daffodils and thought it was a cat sitting looking at me and did not realise my error until I got close and suddenly I saw the daffodils and not the cat. I could see either the daffodils or the cat but I could not see the daffodils and the cat at the same time.
I could share many moments like this. The way in which our eyes and brain connect to read images in the world around us fascinates me. My intention is for the viewer to contemplate the work to decipher how the paintings are put together.
The effect of colour dramatically changes the work. I utilize areas of colour theory to create a ‘push and pull’ off the surface. Blue tones pushing back and red tones pulling forward. I play with how the interaction of colour and space occur within the composition.
I’ve had an obsession with things that don’t match ever since I can remember, so I often bring in something unexpected, a colour that doesn’t match, for instance, and then I make it work within the painting. Perfectly imperfect has a credibility and realness about it that I can identify with and believe.
The twists and folds of the fabric work to hide and to reveal. They act as metaphors for the seen and unseen. The contrasts in the straight geometric lines of the folded canvas and the fluid lines of the muslin create tension between control and chaos and act as metaphors for the kind of struggles we experience in day to day life.
The actual materialism within the work provides many associations including the illusionistic painting of cloth during the Renaissance. The association gives a historical connection. The masters of the Renaissance painted cloth and clothing with the intention of making a two-dimensional object become a three-dimensional illusion. In my work I bring the fabric out of the painting and on to the surface to create a sculptural three-dimensional object.
Gadamer (1986*) described how as a viewer it is impossible to interpret work without prejudice. As individuals we are products of our own upbringing, culture and life experiences. This transfers to making of work, we cannot create art without putting ourselves into what we create. As such my paintings become an extension of me; my ideas and ideals put into a physical form.
* Gadamer, Hans-Georg: The Relevance of the Beautiful and other Essays, Edited by Robert Bernasconi. Published by The Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge in 1986.