b.1972 Oban, Argyll, Scotland
My practice is a phenomenological response to time and place. We hold and are held by the rest of nature; it is in this awareness of the power and beauty that my work responds to place but also highlights the fragile balance and destructiveness that we inflict on the rest of nature.
My work currently takes the form of paintings, drawings, and multi-disciplinary installation. Woven paint and pencil reflect the intricate and strong relationship between us and the land, in noticed moments of peace and wild response to energy found. I wish to reflect how interconnected we are and the delicate balance we find ourselves in with our planet. My recent installation was place-based and in response to rising sea levels.
Much of my research takes the form of extreme physical engagement through running, mountaineering, outdoor swimming and exploring. There is an integrity of connection, of actually being out there.
Living on the coast in Argyll there are powerful currents below the surface of the waters, swirling between islands. Inland ancient prehistoric activity abounds, announcing we are here, and have been for such a long time – inhabiting this place, changing our surroundings, investing in place, connecting. I am interested in how our being is woven into the fabric of the land, and how we are held by the natural world. The more we engage physically, do we then become nurturing? Does involvement deepen our caring?
Trees inhabit some of the places I connect with, but not enough. They are our life support, lungs of our planet, harbingers of the seasons, time and spirit.
I have always admired the Canadian painter Emily Carr for her passionate love of nature and growth and her ability to communicate the energy all around us. My undergraduate dissertation focused on the work of Caspar David Friedrich and the conception of Romanticism. The relevancy of this becomes ever more apparent as the world wakes up to the climate crisis and our impact on the world around us.
Through my practice I hope to bear witness to what is slipping through our fingers, celebrating beauty and energy in our surroundings. I also wish to engage in the stories that need to be woven into our human consciousness to enable change.
I am putting sustainability and carbon footprint at the heart of my work and have been researching materials and embarking on the transition to vegetal based materials for my paintings and a consciousness of material choice in my installations.
It feels important to reflect an awareness of time, to understand greater timescales than our brief human lifespans, to re-connect to what came before, what is now and how our actions will affect the future for more than a few generations.