"A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal."
For as long as I can remember I have had a fascination and love of how both the natural and manmade environments compliment and sometimes echo each other. I have a strong feel for the innate nature of both these environments and also how they relate and react to the influence of the 'Human Presence'...
For as long as I can remember I have had a fascination and love of how both the natural and manmade environments compliment and sometimes echo each other. I have a strong feel for the innate nature of both these environments and also how they relate and react to the influence of the 'Human Presence'. My work is about harmony and balance and about how the naturalistic form creeps into the eye of the architect, how if left nature reclaims her soil. There is a sense of a coexistence, a realization we are only but custodians leaving fragments for the future of a former life.
I feel in our ever changing environment an importance to document and record the image of today. My vision was born of this passion and of a desire to show the sometimes familiar and everyday through my eyes, eyes that hold a fascination and interest of an earlier age, to record layers of civilization, layers of consciousness, the rhythms of beauty and decay merging in cycles of time. Adopting a style of times past, my vision of the naturalistic and manmade invented landscape pays homage to the craftsmen and architects of our environment. An environments that is sometimes forgotten, sometimes familiar. We need only to stop and look.
The initial stage of any new proposed work relies hugely on my first reaction and feeling when visiting a location for the first time. I make notes on how the subject makes me feel, what I would like to say about the location, on architectural detail, a record of the day and of the subject, its environment and its sense of place.
On my return to the studio I try to gain as much information on the proposed location as possible. Knowledge and history of place are key factors within my working process. I need to understand the subject’s past, the original architect’s vision and how that reflects and translates today, the skill of the craftsman, the use of his hand and eye and how all of this works within the location and its place in time. I require a strong sense of self to be found, revealing a resonance between my eye and the proposed work.
Inevitably, this connection is not found in all locations and proposed subjects; the subject has to be pleasing to my eye to be able to reflect a resonance within my finished work.
I pay a second visit to the proposed location where I need to collect much more visual information about the subject. I achieve this by producing open sketches, working drawings, further written notes on detail, which both pleases and catches my eye.
Constantly on my mind when collecting this visual information is the final image. I develop ideas: balance, angle, lighting, composition, structure, distortion, fragment are all considerations that require focus at this point.
I shoot many hundreds of photographs as a visual factual record, also to use later through my working process. At this point I need a clear vision as to what the bones of the work will reflect. "Photographic harvesting" also aids in collecting locational texture; whether creeping nature, or stone grain and form, a discarded sweet wrapper denoting a human presence. All are collected for the selection of the final work.
I also collect locational chalk and graphite rubbings, which form a factual essence of location, an element which plays an integral role within my working process and final print. I may also collect physical objects; a fragment of discarded plaster, stone or brick. While working in the studio, natural forms, such as leaves or roots are essentially 'Location' to me. Some I may use within the final work, to take a print directly from the object or to be used as a reference material when creating a texture, or tone and colour way.
Once all of the locational material is collected I start to build the final image. The vision from within my mind and my eye start to come to life. An open sketch is the starting process, followed by application of separate layers of imagery; a montage. Slowly the work develops, applying more and more locational information. The key to this process is the understanding of how the previous and following applications affect the current working space. A clear vision is needed throughout. Several times before the final work is complete I may need to go to print, I may feel this necessary to be able to go forward to be able to understand how my work visually interprets my original vision. Once satisfied, the final work is produced, proofed and screened. My vision is complete.
Now to the question of why? I find the ‘how' of my chosen process easy to explain, but on the question of ‘why’, well all I can say the vision of my final work is my own, why a brush stroke? why a pencil line? and why in that location within the final work? I can only say, because it is. If it were not it would not be my work or my vision. My work comes from within, and is born of a need to express this vision onto paper.