What inspires you?
I’m very much inspired by my visits to the Thames foreshore at low tide and the items that London life, over the centuries has deposited there. A few old rotten timber posts protruding from the mud on a crisp bright morning are in fact the remains of a medieval nobleman’s jetty; a fragment of pottery dating from 1640 is from a witch bottle (Bellarmine Jar) cast into the Thames to deflect a curse… Oyster shells, their contents consumed by fair Victorian ladies under parasols at a summer regatta. I also love the shapes of tile and animal bones, teeth, decay and erosion by the wash of the tide and the role of chance to decide what might be revealed on any particular day.
Who are your favourite artists and why?
My favourite artists are Francis Bacon; because he’s disturbed, destructive and very clever with a knife; I very much enjoyed his work as an adolescent growing up in London. And William Blake for his vibrant use of colour, creativity, forward thinking and visionary expression.
What is your work about?
Doodling with my found items, associations are often driven by form and texture rather than historical context or monetary value. I have 16th century combed Staffordshire slipware next to a ‘Love is’ 70’s pottery shard; the decayed innards of a rotting mobile phone adjacent to the skeletal remnants of various animals, very occasionally human. I started housing arrangements in boxes constructed from recycled picture frames and creating either symmetrical patterns of items or 3 dimensional figurative arrangements. The drive to create order from chaos in my art work is paralleled by my professional life as an anaesthetist. Some of the items I find are fascinating in themselves. I also enjoy the softening, erosive effect of the action of the Thames and the fact that in time, they will all steadily disintegrate and disperse. I have been inspired by Mark Dion, a community artist/archaeologist commissioned for the inauguration of the Tate Modern and have enjoyed associations with the Museum of London Community Archaeology team. My arrangements often capture a humorous moment or an interaction between species and have been influenced by my experiences of growing up in South London in the 70’s and 80’s.
Your favourite place to visit in London?
..err.. um..The Thames foreshore!
Best bit of advice you came across
To be true to yourself, your ideas and the creative process; to avoid steering the direction of your work to try and ‘please the market’
What do you want to achieve as an artist?
To amuse and entertain people; to get them down on the foreshore to see what they can find; to get them involved in art; to highlight the rich and varied history of the City of London; to sell work!
What is the single most important thing art has given you?
A great way to relax and satisfy my creative side.