My work often involves the gathering, manipulating and arranging of materials; a combination of natural and man-made materials and objects. I look at the effect they have on each other, and particularly man’s inevitable impact on nature. In 2014 I started working with used plastics – bags, bottletops and fishing line … all materials and objects that do untold damage to our environment if left to biodegrade on their own. They are disposable and ubiquitous materials that we now have a love/hate relationship with. We rely on them and at times we desire them, even though we know the damage they are causing and will continue to cause. The time I spend working and manipulating these plastics conjures up such opposing feelings … why elevate such an everyday item? Why make them into something that is aesthetically pleasing? The degraded or discarded object calls to be given a second chance at existence and the repetitive and time-consuming methods I use allow me opportunity to consider their role. I enjoy working on projects that simultaneously attract and repel. For example, the bottle tops which hang in the gallery, mimicking nature … the tops were once created to attract and appeal; they soon became unwanted and repellant, and then in an artwork they are given a chance to help us question their existence. This theme can be found running through most of my work.
Collecting is a large part of my work … the scavenging and gathering that is involved in the collection of objects is second nature to me … followed by a pleasure that comes from new ownership, and then a chance to create a taxonomy of sorts … acquisition, storage and expression through artwork. The collections can be about materiality, commonality, differentiation, time, systematisation, control, nostalgia and desire, but never about value.
Inspiration has come from numerous artists, two of which are Gustav Metzger and Kate MccGwire. I have a great admiration for Gustav, whose life’s work has been to highlight man’s responsibility to care for nature, and also for Kate, with whom I share a methodology, a love of materials and a fascination with the abject and its ability to appeal and simultaneously revolt.
Education – BA Fine Art … UCA Farnham … Ist Class Honours.