‘…the way people talk about their lives is of significance, that the language they use and the connections they make reveal the world that they see and in which they act.’ Carole Gilligan
I have allowed my love of the beauty of woodlands a free rein in these recent paintings. However, I find that other themes emerge and what appears on the canvas is more than a simple image of woodland. Intuitive gestures made with paint belie the complexity of the relationship between circumstance, locality and context. The ancient trees that are my current subject are so old that they represent the concept of time, they link my consciousness to the lives of my ancestors and their scarcity is a reminder of the deforestation that is so threatening in our post-modern era. So a landscape painting is never just a landscape but has this interestingly dream like aspect, interwoven and interconnecting, where all of those themes coincide.
With regard to the process that initiated my current work, locating my 'voice' is a triangulation between memory, photography and canvas or hand, eye and mind. What I have found is that my voice is an amalgam. Its constituent parts being those of myself, with mechanical processes and products - such as photography. I am surprised and intrigued by the way these aspects blend together on the canvas.
It is said of painting that it embodies all that the artist is and has experienced. Therefor tucked in with the layers of paint must be not only my knowledge of painting, but the cultural experience of growing up in Cornwall, my artistic and scientific interests, the punchy imagery of pop culture and so on. In addition, I know my visual memory to be full of inaccuracies; distortions are brought about by the physical and emotional sensitivity to being in a wood. Those experiences leave a residue in my mind which I try to recapture in painting.
The influence that photography has had on my perception and style of visual representation is marked in my latest paintings. Also there are the industrially produced physical materials of paintings; the wood, cotton canvas, chemicals, oil and stone that constitute oil paint, even the car that conveys me to and from the sites of the trees and the painting materials from one place to another. All are products derived from nature. In my mind they complete a circle that joins the physical with the ethereal, giving form to experience and ideas as they meet with 'realities'.