I find the physical processes of printing a joy. The rolling out of the ink, the smell, the sticky sound it makes, damp paper, damp blankets, the movement around the studio when making ready for print, the mechanical clank of the press; an addictive experience. The journey of taking a concept to finally lifting the edge of a freshly printed sheet is so fulfilling - there is the recognition of a print that was born in my heart, and held in my mind's eye, and is now held in my hands.
There can be many interpretations of my prints, but I enjoy the fact that every viewer responds differently and brings new thoughts to each piece. Most importantly, I hope that they elicit a curiosity and an emotional response that will lead the viewer to reflect and come to an understanding that is personal to them.
My intention is that my images give a moment of stillness where one can reflect and perhaps gain a sense peacefulness and clarity.
Diverse landscapes, cultures and the natural sciences have always informed and inspired my work as both a Graphic Designer and a Fine Art Printmaker. During my art foundation course, I was fortunate enough to study under the tuition of Master Printmaker Jack Shirreff, a generous and inspiring man. I then gained my first bachelors degree at Canterbury College of Art. Following several years as a graphic designer in London, I moved to the Shetland Islands where I worked as a freelance designer. It was there that I discovered a love for nature's beauty framed in wide horizons. Jim Crumley captures my feelings exactly when he wrote “Shetland is a place which responds well to a seeing eye and a listening ear. I have always inclined to the idea that the way to learn about a new place is to watch and listen to the landscape, remarking how people and nature, an indivisible duopoly here, pass over it, how they shape it and how they are shaped by it” (Colin Baxter and Jim Crumley, Shetland, A Land of the Ocean, 1992). Following several years in the USA and Belgium, I completed a Master of Arts degree in Fine Art Printmaking at the Cambridge School of Art. From Cambridge there followed four influential years experiencing life and landscape in the deserts of Qatar. On moving to Sweden in 2013, with its arctic wildernesses and vibrant archipelago, I joined the Grafiska Sällskapet studio and gallery in Stockholm where I continue to develop my themes and techniques.
I am currently exploring the idea of complementarity. As used in both literature and science, this is a relationship in which two or more elements improve or emphasise each other's qualities, and cannot exist one without the other. In physics this is illustrated by competing theories to describe the physical world, one at the sub-atomic level, where one must imagine wave forms to understand what is observed, and another where matter only makes sense when perceived as particles; from the sub-atomic to the celestial, only a complementarity of ideas describes the whole. This idea guides not only my creative thinking when researching, shaping and visualising an image, but also my working practice in the studio. The elements of discipline, practicality and free-flowing creativity combine to improve and emphasise each other.
The graduation and combination of colours is a particular technique that I have developed and experimented with over many years and is in part inspired by the historic Japanese technique of Fukibokashi, used in woodblock printing. Mine is a very fragile technique and sensitive to even slight room temperature changes, which means every print is completely unique - a one off.