I use traditional techniques which celebrate and expose the human mark, to represent emotion, memory and hopefully make a beautiful object that will become treasured. When you are resolving composition in abstract you become even more aware of the balance between line, shape and colour because you don't have the distraction of trying to make an image that looks like something else. The older I get, the more I want to simplify. 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. An artist's work should become more thoughtful through time, reflecting their own depth of experience and understanding of the materials and the artists I respect have followed this path. One of the joys of a profession that doesn't rely on physical strength, is that you can improve as you get older and often produce the best work towards the end of your life, Matisse being a prime example.
At this time in history when we are bombarded from every surface with figurative images and faces, it feels right to be making abstract work that offers an antidote to this human-centric world. Like the Dadaists, I like to feel that by rejecting recognisable imagery, I’m rejecting all that I dislike about popular culture; the obsession with how people look and what they wear, crass advertising campaigns, mass production and corporate logos that swamp us. I often work from images that are in danger of being forgotten, photos my father took from his Spitfire in WW2 and my own black and white archives. There is an element of storytelling in the process although the images are abstracted and an attempt to freeze a moment in time and capture some human energy for posterity. The work I make is not always easy to look at, but as Derek Jarman once said - 'I'm not spoon-feeding babies'. I make work for people who are not afraid to look to themselves for answers, rather than expecting answers to be handed to them on a plate. I expect everyone's experience of the work to be different, people interpret the images in different ways and that is fine. There are no right or wrong interpretations, regardless of what my own inspiration for creating and image might have been. I just want people to respond naturally and allow their own thoughts and memories to be unlocked by looking at the work.