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Artist Statement



Artist Statement

Let me begin by saying that in my view all Artist Statements should be read with 'a pinch of salt'.
You probably have much better things to do with these few moments of your short precious life, but if not; read on.

I'm sure that if I had to write a statement yesterday, it would have said something slightly different. Words lend themselves to linear thought, whereas Art with a capital 'A' tends to not be arrived at or viewed that way.
I am also aware that there are as many approaches to creative enquiry as there are people making it.
There is no one way more valid than another and I enjoy looking at other people’s work - especially the work of friends and discussing it with them.

All of us use our multiple intelligences to make sense of the world, to reflect on it, construct our sense of reality, place and purpose. A major theme in my work is ‘place’.
The images for my work come from special places that are within a few hours drive from Brisbane where I live. They are places that are part of my mental map. Sometimes my work contains images of family, friends or activities observed near where I live.
When I draw, I draw myself into a relationship with a place or with the people of that place. The people and places exercise an influence on me, sustaining me in ways more felt than understood.

On occasion there are some conceptual and experimental works that make it to gallery walls, but those result from the desire to push or expand my mark making skills and so serve another purpose.

I am aware that the colour in my more recent works is derived from an increasingly ‘limited palette’. This coincides with an increased use of ‘sfumato’ (areas of lost and found), especially in dense foliage, and with an increased density of detail in my drawing.
I am less satisfied with the reductionism and the dominance of colour of my earlier work. I rarely consider colour in my work now until it is time to colour it.

I do sketch sometimes, but that is either recreational or to solve a visual problem. Whilst ‘hunting and gathering’ for ideas, I prefer to spend the time ‘in the moment’ observing and then quickly recording my observations photographically and in note form.
I spend a lot of time looking, changing vantage points and observing the deep structure of a place. I like noting the subtle ways that life grows by accommodating physical structures surrounding it, the soil structure, neighbouring life forms and the climate.
Life that best adapts to constant change and can compromise to accommodate the needs of others, survives. And, it often takes on interesting unexpected character and form.
Taking the time for quiet, long, clear-minded but considered observation, reveals strength and history in a landscape, and the relationships of its parts.

Back in my studio before a drawing makes it onto a 'block' to be cut, it may have been redrawn several times. As a result, my drawings often stray a long way from the original observations.
New things are observed and new relationships between elements in the composition are found. In the studio I enter into a world of inquiry, discovery, problem-solving, and creation.

It sounds a little narcissistic but it is actually the opposite, it gives me a grounding that comes from clarifying my perspective on ‘things’. After many years, the act of drawing and creating prints is part of who I take myself to be.
I am never as well or content as when I am being curious with a nib and ink or cutting a block.

I hope that you enjoy viewing my work.