“I'm trying to make the darkness easier to swallow.”
Tell us about your background, where did you grow up and where did you study art?
I live and work at my home studio in Essex, England where I grew up. I dropped out of college when I was 17 and started teaching myself to paint when I was 19.
How has your practice change over time?
My practice has now become a full time job where I work everyday until the evening wether that be painting, collaging or scouring the internet for possible source material.
Describe a real-life situation that inspired you or effected your work?
The period after leaving collage when I was lost and suicidal has had the biggest effect on my work and was the boon which pushed me to teach myself to paint.
What is your artwork about? Tell us about your subject matter.
My works focus around anxiety, mortality and the relationship between figuration and abstraction. I want my works to explain uncomfortable feelings (which I am unconsciously drawn to for whatever reason) through the use of sometimes surreal imagery and the way I manipulate the paint on the surface. I like to think my work is my shadow projected in the Jungian sense where I am painting my unconscious fears in an attempt to unpack and understand them. I'm trying to make the darkness easier to swallow.
Lately I have been working on a series titled 'Naked Island' where I am creating a fictional island with motif's I have used throughout my work's and new ones to build, concentrate on them and open up the island with each painting adding to it's lore.
What jobs have you done other than being an artist?
I had a few short lived jobs before being a painter such as scanning vouchers, working in a cafe and moving boxes in a warehouse. I wasn't particularly good at any of them.
Tell us about your studio and your routine?
I wake up, eat breakfast, make a coffee and either paint until the evening or collage/gather images on a computer. I have small breaks throughout but try especially with the painting to get into a zone which can sometimes take hour's. Music typically helps. I usually repeat the same playlist or album when working and eventually I slip into a meditative sort of state where I am not too precise and not too loose. It's a balancing act.
Name some artists you're inspired by?
Van Gogh, Chaim Soutine, Francisco Goya, Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon, Phil Hale, Justin Mortimer and Salvador Dali to name some.
Do you have any news, projects or shows coming up?
I have a couple of group show's coming up and recently have been picked up by Castlegate House Gallery who boasts such artists as Auerbach, Hockney and Bomberg. I will have more information posted in the coming weeks through my website and instagram.