I use traditional techniques which celebrate and expose human mark-making. When you are resolving composition in abstract you become more aware of the fine balance between line, shape and colour, because there isn’t the distraction of trying to make an image that looks like something else. When I was young I tried to squeeze as many ideas into each image as possible, now I want to leave only essential marks on the canvas and leave some space for the eye to breathe. Work should become simpler and more thoughtful as we age, reflecting our own depth of experience and understanding.
At this time in history, when we are bombarded from every surface with figurative images, it feels right to be making abstract work as an antidote to this human-centric world. Like the Dadaists, I like to feel that by rejecting recognisable imagery, I’m also rejecting all that I dislike about popular culture; the obsession with how people look, formulaic popular media and corporate logos that swamp our cities. I often work from images that are in danger of being forgotten from my pre-digital past, most recently photos that my father took from his Spitfire in WW2 and my own archives.
There is an element of storytelling in the work although the images are abstracted, also an attempt to capture a moment in time from my own life as an artist and preserve some energy for posterity. The work I make is not always easy to look at but, as Derek Jarman said, 'I'm not spoon-feeding babies’. I make work for people who are prepared to look to themselves for answers, rather than expecting answers to be handed to them on a plate. I want to convey a sense of balance and encourage contemplation.