There is a strong element of storytelling in my work although the images are abstracted. I’m interested in the way we remember things in visual terms and the way shapes and colours sometimes remind us of places or people. This visual memory is personal to all of us, but it is a skill we all have. To get to know my subject matter I make sketches, but I don’t work directly from them because I want a more gestural and spontaneous result. Paintings are like children, you nurture them, but ultimately they speak for themselves. With any painting I have to abandon my preconceptions about the end result, in order to give it the freedom it needs to evolve. During this process I will usually have to paint over areas that I like in order to move the image forward, it can be quite a mercenary activity.
My work practice comprises basic human mark-making; embracing mistakes, choosing colours and describing form and space, with all the splashes and brush-strokes that entails. I don't wait for inspiration, I’m in the studio almost every day so new ideas surface during the working process and I develop them. Certain ongoing interests influence my work; aerial reconnaissance photos that my father took in the war still fascinate me and a love of early punk graphics has left me with a love of diagonals and the constant urge to experiment.
For me, there has to be progress from year to year, I'm not someone who can make the same painting over and over again. However, underlying and unifying the work over the years is a linear structure that often shows through in the texture of the paint as well as in the design; evidence of the working process which I want to be seen. I am trying to produce an antidote to the slick digital screen-saver images that surround us; I’m not interested in perfection, only in progress. I see myself as part of a tradition of drawing that begins with the cave-painters and continues through the renaissance, modernism and graffiti to the present day.
I try to make paintings that have an initial impact, but also a sonority that unfolds as you spend time with the piece. There is no correct interpretation of the images; everyone’s reaction will be different. The joy of abstraction is that it can be appreciated on a purely aesthetic level in the same way we relate to music. You don’t need to know the meaning of a song in order to enjoy it and it’s the same with an abstract image.