b. 1963, Chichester, UK
1980-82 Diploma in Art and design W.S.C.D 1982 - 85 BA (Hons) Fine Art and Printmaking, Cardiff University.
I grew up just outside Chichester in the 1960’s and 70’s. My formative years were spent in the shadow of the South Downs walking, cycling and exploring the landscape as a child with complete freedom. After finishing my degree in Cardiff, I spent the bulk of my adult life living in cities; London, Barcelona, Nijmegen in Holland and most recently Brighton. I've ended up back in the countryside where I started, still in the shadow of the South Downs in the Sussex Weald, with a studio in Laughton; a small village just East of Lewes.
My work even when abstracted has always been about storytelling, setting down my own experiences and memories and combining them with contemporary themes. I don't wait for inspiration, I’m in the studio every day so new ideas surface during the working process and I develop them. I have kept daily sketchbooks for the last 35 years and this ongoing sketching and processing of ideas informs the larger work. Certain enduring interests influence me such as the contours from aerial reconnaissance photos that my father took in the war, which still thread their way through the work. The influence of British post-modernists like David Bomberg, Peter Lanyon and Barbara Hepworth are also clear to see.
There has to be progress as I work, I'm not someone who can make the same painting over and over again. However, unifying the work over the years is a linear structure that shows through in the texture of the paint as well as in the design; it all comes back to drawing. My aim is to produce an antidote to the slick digital images that surround us on screens everywhere. I like paintings with fingerprints and brush marks that have been made by a human being rather than a computer programme. I love to see a trace of charcoal peeping through in works by Picasso or Matisse, that’s what thrills me about art.
Currently I'm working on The Deanland Project at Deanland Airfield in East Sussex close to where I live. The airfield was built to support the D-Day landings in 1944 and is now run as a small commercial airfield. I have been developing images that reflect the airfield's wartime history and combine it with my father's wartime photos and my own sketches of the area as it looks today. In 2018 photographer John Brockliss, who is documenting this project, will publish a book 'DEANLAND' which will be supported by an exhibition at Gallery 35 North in Brighton in June 2018.