is an essential source of inspiration - it has become an action that is
comparative to a ritual, which fuels the work. Driven by a curiosity - an
intrigue - an exploration of the unknown and yet a familiar action that
is repeated - similar in essence to that of a pilgrimage.
pilgrim abandons his customary way of life in order to strengthen his
own identity, to become less dependent on his environment…"
(Angela Vetesse - on Hamish Fulton Walking Artist)
work tends to be a reflection of our contemporary free for all, borrowing
from a number of cultural sources.
and prints document recent journeys to the south west states of the USA
and to the Rockies in British Columbia, Canada. In these paintings the
exploration of the blurring of boundaries between the land and the sky
or the sea and the sky, initiated by a trip to the Andes, Peru, has been
developed and progressed. Layers of paint interact with collaged papers
and photographic imagery. These have been embedded within the surface
of the canvas and draw the viewer in to discover what is suggested and
hidden beneath the surface.
For the ancient Andean peoples it appears that it was land itself that
held all the promises and treasures. The land has the sense of being permeable,
mirroring the presence / absence quality of past imagery. This is particularly
relevant as the work is developed with a strong sense of memory and reflection.
One is drawn into the space of the landscapes through a combination of
texture, collage and thin washes of paint and only then does the full
detail reveal itself. There is an underlying structure of a series of
maps some depicting the Machu Picchu region of the Andes and the ‘classic’
Inca Trail route to Machu Picchu, linking back to an earlier series of
prints entitled ‘Building the Beaten Track’, other maps relate
to different journeys and paths followed on land and water.
These elements have been further developed with the more recent works
drawn from the Atlantic coastline in Massachusetts and the coastline of
the UK. Mixed media processes have been developed to question the surface
of the canvas or paper and intend to make the viewer reasses the initial
snapshot is a potent form of imagery – it encapsulates our supposed
desire to objectify memory and stem the flow of time’
prints depict similar ideas. Snap shots are etched into metal to capture
and narrate journeys. The process of etching, the corrosion of the metal,
of the physical, these aspects are where my interests lie with etching
rather than with the multiple image. I generally make series’ of
unique prints narrating an individual history captured by photographic
shots of journeys undertaken and of places visited.
Layered surfaces are built up with etching plates, collaged papers, digital
imagery and maps, both etched and actual objects, to create a rich and
complex surface with ambiguous spatial planes and an almost dream like
The work does not dictate to the viewer, it suggests, aiming to trigger
memories and imagination.
Every piece of work and element is a journey taken - they are vehicles
of transcendence, a place or situation revisited, with the added element
of memory. Different aspects of the journeys become apparent in each set
of images, various paths are followed and often retraced as new insights
are gained on every return.
Many of the ancient temples and sites researched and experienced remain
important pilgrimage sites today. There is no attempt to recreate a pilgrimage
but an association to the action - to the ritual - my ritual of travel.
The Hoysala temples in southern India and Angkor Wat, Cambodia, have been
one of the more recent areas of focus.
Early Hinayana icons of the Buddha were represented as a pair of empty
footprints, the message: - He has passed this way, but he has gone beyond.
It is concepts like the above that draw my interests towards Buddhism
and the images of Buddhas in all various states and forms. Buddhism is
adaptable to differing cultural values and societies and the sense of
perpetual evolution in Buddhist thought mirrors my personal response to
life and art, constantly changing, building and growing. It is not though
so much the religion that interests me, as a personal response to the
visual. The image of the Buddha holds a fascination for me that is inexplicable
in its strength.
My representations are usually in a transient state - hovering between
the physical and metaphysical, but always with a sense of serenity, strength
Within Hindu art, unlike Buddhist art, the human form is depicted as curvaceous,
voluptuous and filled with potential motion.
The celestial dancing figures, Apsaras, added to the visual language and
are intended to be sensual. The forms are mythical and out of reach, performing
what was once an integral part of temple ritual and worship.