Friday, May 29, 2009

Well Hall road

So, I am in the middle of about 3 or 4 paintings. I like to work on them in Tandem. I have, as mentioned moved into oils. I realise they are my obsessions, I drift off to them when I am not with them, staring and scrutinising. worrying.Like love I guess with hopefully a fair amount of joy thrown in!
Ayeslbury estate part II ( pictured) is the second in a survival series examining the Ayelsbury estate, one of the more notorious in South east london, described as Hell's Waiting room and soon to be demolished. I recently went to the Courbusier exhibition, he, who was a pioneer of the type of social housing that inspired the Ayeslbury and subsequent housing estates. A dream of utopia and making buildings that reach up to heaven fell into dsytopia with neglect, crime and segregation of social classes, creating a ghetto.
I am trying to be freer with paint, not so literal, loosening my technique. My work can balance in style between realism and naivety, overperfection....lets muck it up a bit was a suggestion from MA. so I am trying. Using oils helps as it means I am already unbalanced from my normal practise.
Also, I generally use embroidery in parts of my work, its fragility and seductive nature enhances the juxtaposition between manmade and organic, the neglected or desolate buildings and the meticulous nature of the stitching.But, I am trying without it, to see what that shall mean to mywork, what I could do differently. In contrast I am working on a small piece that is almost entirely stitched.

Odeon, Well hall Road is large, very large for me- twice the size that I usually paint. It is in Eltham, a dilapidated art deco cinema opposite where Stephen Lawrence was murdered ( I have painted the Stephen Lawrence centre in the past) Two good reasons to paint it as a place of social commentary and history.

Another reason came by surprise; a facebook page set up petitioning against a proposal for the cinema being turned into an Islamic centre, a xenophobic, rascist rant of a page ......a very dismal page and evidence of a section of society that seems unchanged by the tragic case of Stephen Lawrence.

I uploaded work in progress photos and used photoshop to try out a few ideas. Using the heavily patterned background I cannot always try out ideas directly onto the fabric and was surprised at how effectively I could use photoshop to play with composition. Of course I use a sketchpad too, but this was pretty fun. both attached.

Somewhere near the beginning

I am going to be showing in the Projection Space at John JOnes this summer and decided this would present a great opportunity to start a blog.

I am a painter, I am based in London. I graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2005. I have exhibited quite a bit since graduating and it has been quite an education. I show with galleries as well as with independent curators and projects.
I think I would like to do a PHD but not sure if I am academic enough. I like to teach- I want to do more. A workaholic, I never have enough time for all that I want to achieve.
I am passionate about my work and of art.

This is the quote that coherently explains my feelings about my work.

‘Painting is a language through which painters discover their subjects and also both lose and find themselves.It is as much an act of recovery as it is one of discovering the unknown As words frequently tell the writer what to write , the substance of a painting dictates where nuance lies and where meaning might be found. If painting is a mirror it cannot avoid reflecting the one who made it. Paint can be dirty and sorrowful. These places are scenes of loneliness and desperation but also of hope and redemption.’’ Adrian Searle, Peter Doig Catalogue

So lets begin somewhere in the middle of this. In 2008 I was selected through open submission for Salon 08 which is where I first caught the eye of Kate Jones, ( from John Jones, the eminent framers and supporters of contemporary art ) one of the Judges of the prize. An artist friend of mine Paul Benjamins then introduced me to her whilst I was showing at the London Art Fair with Contemporary Art Projects. The rest is history etc. The Jones family many of whom are involved in the John Jones business are some of the loveliest people I have met in the art world. genuinely passionate about art and artists, Professional and pretty darn cool.
I am looking forward to it. It's a great motivator to have a deadline and the opportunity to show works to a new audience. I am in the middle of making works for it and am also making some changes n my work- With encouragement from a fellow artist Matthew Atkinson ( and also from my long suffering partner (LSP as he will be known in the future) I am unravelling exciting things. Oils, after a sabbatical of 10 years ( I use acrylic) - oh , the joy of that! The way it glides and the depth of the colour!

I am exploring and experimenting and it is scary! letting go of some things and making leaps – or so it feels to me-rather than baby steps. Perhaps you will not see anything too brave… I hope you will as it is my desire to keep pushing.

So dear reader I will take you on my journey as I agonise and obsess over these changes and talk about previous experiences in the art world, the highs and lows of being an artist and my own occasional rants and philosophies....