My images are inspired by dreams, recollections and experiences. Diverse figurative elements, explore emotional responses to life, colour, pattern and language.
I am a visual artist with a passion for mixed-media layering and design. My work is inspired by many things such as a dream, a feeling, something suddenly remembered, a song, or a particular experience, and explores emotional responses to life, colour, pattern and language. I create a juxtaposition of reality, fantasy, aesthetic and sensation, which seeks to examine the transient moments of real life events within an autobiographical context.
My collages often follow a particular time line in their realisation; a similar sequence of events, that begins with a quick sketch and culminates in the finished artwork.
The initial pen or pencil drawing fixes a thought, sensation or experience; an analogue method of data storage that captures in the sketchbook the essence of an idea. This will then progress towards a more detailed drawing, where elements of the image and composition begin to take shape, developing the original idea, while considering further alternatives to explore.
At this stage I begin to select the coloured papers that I will use, laying the sheets out side by side, or overlapping one another, to examine how the graduations in tone or colour work together, and to explore the contrasting chromatic relationships that develop.
The cutting stage can then commence once all the preliminary drawings are complete. This may involve the cutting of individual shapes, areas of colour, or layered contours of tone, to be laid one on top of the other. These contour 'maps' of light and shadow hark back to my early fascination with and continuing love of maps. As a schoolboy I enjoyed making contour models, based on local Ordnance Survey maps. Similarities of methodology are explored between mapping both the figure and the landscape. Elements of map making are further developed in 3D model drawing, with wire mesh maps describing the contours of a figure, and its features.
The collage is initially laid out upon a drawing board without adhesive. While elements of the image remain mobile, compositional or tonal graduation can be scrutinised, and adjusted as required. Major elements within the design may then be fixed into place with adhesives, while other areas of the composition remain mobile, permitting further development, or transformation of the original concept. Finally everything is stuck into position, and the collage is ready to mount. Sometimes I will prepare multiple versions of the same design, selecting alternative colour combinations, or exploring negative silhouettes, and how variation changes relationships within the image.
The original paper collages are assembled from layers of pre-coloured papers. Wherever possible, the high quality Daler 'Canford' range of papers are used to achieve the highest level of light-fastness possible. This ensures that you will be able to enjoy this artwork, in optimum condition, for many years to come. More recently the expanding range of papers used include the Daler-Rowney 'Murano' range, with its naturally textured surface and 45% cotton content. Additional tonal range and texture is also augmented by the use of Indian Khadi and other handmade papers.
My artwork has been commissioned and represented in various publications,with solo and group exhibitions showing in the UK, France, Holland, Spain, Germany, Italy and the USA.
mbl: 07429 826212
Studio 308, Unit 2, 67 Astley Avenue, Dover, Kent, CT16 2PL
A256 Whitfield-Dover down Crabble Hill straight into Barton Rd one-way, left turn Astley Ave, up hill, left into studio yard before railway bridge.