The world inside my head is a hive of activity. Much of it clutter. Even if I could sort it out, I have no plans to share it with others.
I also often find that the proliferation of images and information in the real world outside my head overwhelming. The Polish Artist Bartek Materka talks of the “Optical overload” of the external world in the 21st century, so it seems I’m not alone.
My art is the one area where I can control what I make. I begin with a photograph of something ordinary, everyday, overlooked. In the past my subjects have included shop doorways, street furniture, dustbins, factory chimneys, the pipes and wires in the power station. My aim is to transform the ordinary into the exceptional, the eye-catching, the beautiful.
My current work is inspired by the humble cardboard box. I photographed the proliferation in my house as a result of Covid. I chose the more unusual compositions and set about eliminating the clutter. Then I analysed what remained, identifying the geometric shapes. By now the image is more abstract and I can choose how to interpret it.
If I am painting, I select my colours with the aim of harmony. In homage to Helio Oiticica my palette is limited to yellow, gold, orange and brown. I apply the paint with foam rollers because I want a smooth, even finish. Nothing should disturb the purity of the colour. For a while the clutter in my head is gone. I focus. I meditate.
I recently made some simple sculptures inspired by the geometric shapes in my paintings. These have an interesting, ambiguous quality with a scope beyond the works themselves.
I was born in Glasgow and spent most of my life there. After a few years in London I retired to the seaside in Hove in 2014. Retirement gave me the opportunity to follow my passion for art and I obtained a Foundation diploma in Brighton in 2016. In June I shall graduate with a BA (Honours) in Fine Art from BMet College in Worthing.
My work involved exact legal concepts and accurate calculations, and so I looked forward to experimenting with gestural marks and ever-changing colours in my art. In fact, I have harnessed that long-held need for precision and I see objects in terms of straight lines, geometric shapes and clearly defined colours.
My influences include the abstract Concrete artists in Brazil in the 1960s, in particular Helio Oiticica. Contemporary artists like Hanne Borchgrevink in Norway and Gary Hume in the UK show me the possibilities of abstracting from the physical entity.
I have exhibited my paintings in Onca Gallery in Brighton, Brighton’s Open Houses and in the Gallery in College.
2017 – 2022 BA(Hons) Fine Art, BMet College, Sussex
2014 – 2016 UAL Foundation Art & Design, City College, Brighton
1970 – 1975 MA (Hons) French & German, Glasgow University
Courses Attended / Further Training
2016 – 2017 Painting classes at Art Academy, London
2013 – 2014 Painting classes at Art Academy, London
2010 – 2012 Life drawing classes at Art Academy, London
Selected Group Exhibitions
April 2022 Corridor Gallery exhibition, BMet College, Sussex
Oct 2019 Corridor Gallery exhibition, BMet College, Sussex
April 2019 Corridor Gallery exhibition, BMet College, Sussex
May 2018 Brighton Open House exhibition, “Art at No 7”
April 2018 Corridor Gallery Exhibition, Northbrook College, Sussex
May 2017 Brighton Open House exhibition, “Art at No 7”
May 2016 Brighton Open House exhibition, “Art at No 7”
May 2015 “Murmurations” at Onca, Brighton
1975 – 2014 Senior Tax Inspector with Inland Revenue, later HMRC
2017 – current The Hummingbird Refugee Project, assists young refugees and asylum seekers in Brighton
2014 – current Flat Time House, arts organisation formed by conceptual artist John Latham which promotes the work of young and emerging conceptual artists
2004 – 2009 Tabula Rasa, Scottish contemporary dance company
1998 – 2003 Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow