What inspires you?
My work is usually created in response to an experience I’ve had. My work is very autobiographical like that. I rarely know what my new work will be about. However, once it is complete the reason makes perfect sense to me.
Who are your favourite artists and why?
German Artist Rebecca Horn has been a huge influence. For me, she is a complete Artist. She started in film and Performance Art and explored the effect that wearing restrictive costume and props had on her movement and behaviour. She has gone on to work on installation pieces for the most diverse of spaces around the world. I discovered her work on the opening night of Tate Modern when they showed her feathered head wear titled Cockatoo. The Chapman Brothers have been just as important to me. I love how they used humour and horror in equal measure. I once told them that I was a big fan of their work. They replied “We hope you get well soon” which sums them up nicely.
Tell us about a memorable exhibition or creative event you experienced.
Oh that’s easy. Sensation at The Royal Academy of Arts in London in 1997. It was a collection of work owed by Charles Saatchi. It was incredible and made me want to be an Artist in my own right. I will never forget seeing Damien Hirst’s piece titled A Thousand years with live maggots, flies and a dead cows head. It explored the cycle of life and death right before the viewer’s eyes. It was at this moment that I realized that Art could be used in such a captivating, thought provoking and powerful way. It stayed with me for days afterwards.
What is your work about?
My work begins with the mundane. Often overlooked, I expose and highlight the subject’s rather unconventional beauty and truth. For me, the detail is everything. I am excited by the juxtaposition, the textural aspect, the sculptural composition and the way the work speaks whether silently or in the most voyeuristic and vocal way. I see myself as a voyeur, not in a sexual way, but as the definition states “one who looks”. The way we treat each other and nature are at the heart of my creative vision of Raw. My Photography has traces of my own life, my joy, my sorrow and my hope. It exposes our perceptions, beliefs and questions social behaviours and patterns.
What is your favourite medium or artist’s tool to work with and why?
My printer plays a really important role in producing my Photography. I colour match my work by adjusting each image file until when it is printed it looks like the version that people see on my website. Some pieces can take days to achieve the correct look and colour. It is so rewarding when you finally get it right.
What do you think art offers society?
A chance to switch off from our technological world and think for ourselves.
What experiences enabled you to develop your skills as an artist?
Each show or Art Fair that I have been a part of has helped me to grow and learn as an Artist. You discover what work goes well together and also what people like and are looking for. Being an Artist at Skylark Galleries 2 has and continues to be a wonderful experience. As Artists we all work behind the scenes. It is important to have the opportunity to face our public and to see their reaction first hand.
What do you love most about being an artist?
At the very heart of each piece of work is me, the artist. Whether the subject is a piece of wreckage, a crushed can, a piece of fabric, a seed pod or a crying eye, it is me experiencing and sharing the emotion. For me, this exchange with the viewer is the most incredible gift.
Your favourite place to visit in London?
The National Theatre. I have been lucky to see some of the most amazing plays there. My favourites include Amy’s View with Judi Dench and The Last of the Haussmans with Julie Walters, Helen McCrory and Rory Kinnear.
Best bit of advice you came across.
To keep believing in what you do. It will happen.
What is the single most important thing art has given you?
The chance to share my feelings and imagination in a public space and in people’s homes.
What regularly makes you smile?
My dog “Tink”
Number of hot drinks in a typical studio day?
Six, with the odd glass of cream soda thrown in for good measure.
Most pleasing artwork you created to date?
The Mind’s Eye ( 2011 ). It explores how our minds process what is or can be beautiful. I think it’s an important theme as we live in such superficial times and tend to focus too long on first impressions and surface beauty.
Share a tip for overcoming ‘artist’s block’
Don’t worry, pick up your brush or camera and just do something. Even if at first it doesn’t work, it often leads onto something that does. I normally feel that I have nothing else to say and then something arrives that takes my work to the next stage.