My paintings are my multi faceted journals, statements on my travels. These I then interpret into modulated collages and most recently as complicated comicbook cartoons.
The process starts by choosing the subject I want to paint a narrative about. Once I have an idea I produce about three or four paintings each a different version of the initial subject. Following this process I cut out only the parts of the painting that I want to re-use. These pieces I stitch back together on canvas.
An uncomplicated item such as a piece of cloth or leather gets transformed into an object latent with metaphors and symbolism. Traversing the two dimensional into the three dimensional, yet still being rooted in the discipline of painting.
Piercing, lacerating and then stitching through the semi-precious canvas is as raw as perforating the skin, self harm to its most personal logic. My art is conceptual/ abstract in nature and borders on the surreal.
Living in The Middle East has given me the opportunity to study the different cultures combined here. I like to think of myself as a social anthropologist!
Reflections on the past from a modern Western perspective, thus blending East and West bringing the past into the future.
While firmly rooted in the art of painting, my artworks are densely layered sculptured paintings skilfully assembled from paint, textiles and found objects.
The layered paintings help to create a powerful multi-sensory experience as well as a metaphoric embroidered exploration. As one peels away layers, each viewer will experience and respond to my paintings in their own unique way.
Influenced by their own memories and the perspective from which they approach the work, whether as a Westerner looking in, or someone rooted in this rapidly changing world.
I follow the same principles as Joseph Beuys. He commented about his work,
“My objects are to be seen as stimulants for transformation of the idea of sculpture, or of art in general. They should provoke thoughts about what sculpture can be and how the concept of sculpting can be extended to the invisible materials used by everyone” *
To me yesterday, today and tomorrow has to co-exist in harmony. I can’t paint the new without showing the old, but when I do so, I place them together united with thread.
So in summary, I use different layers and stitching to portray the different aspects of what is a complicated mix of cultures and histories. The beauty is in the viewer identifying with things that matters to them and therefore when viewing from a far it, makes sense it becomes one.
In the words of Leo Tolstoy,
“Art is a human activity consisting in this, that one consciously, by means of certain external signs, hands on to others feelings he has lived through, and that others are infected by these feelings and also experience them” **
*What is Art? : Conversation with Joseph Beuys, translated by Matthew Barton and Shelley Sacks (Forest Row: Clairview Books, 2004), page 9
**Leo Tolstoy What is Art?, translated by Louise and Aylmer Maude (London: Oxford University Press, 1930), pp. 171-173, 275-277
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