Artist Statement 

 

My practice is concerned with loss, memory and grief. Speculative questioning about the memorial, memory and commemoration brings together a conjecture of imagery taken from personal and public archival materials. Through painting, collage and printmaking I explore ideas of the feminine and mother in relation to trauma.

I work on canvas, linen, wood and paper. I have recently been drawn to salvaged found paper ephemera such as vintage embroidery transfers, bible pages, knitting patterns, decorative antiques and magazines/books that give advice/ instruction for domestic success. I explore the fluid nature of recall, allowing intuition to lead the work through various states of exploration until reaching a resting place. I often work in layers, deliberately interrupting images through overlap/obstruction as an attempt to create a visceral representation of the thought process. Traditional and ambiguous figuration hold equal significance, Images are continuously intersecting, abrasive, harmonious, removed…a tangible manifestation of a multi-layered interior state.

Currently I am exploring 1980s romantic imagery, soft focus idealised women and children often in bucolic settings that offer us a dreamy return to a safer past. These reference materials are destroyed, scratched and rubbed before being tenderly transformed into paintings, prints and drawings often resulting in a deeply melancholic imagery. The works are a direct manifestation of the shattering destructive experience of witnessing a death through assisted suicide but also attempt to speak of a universal experience of destruction and loss of the ‘mother’ figure, whether that be an individual, a place, an ideal set of values. I am interested in questioning what this term ‘mother’ means in relation to ‘home’.

I am interested in the stillness found in studio shot images of women and children, floristry and small objects of vertu such as antique ‘Chatelaines’ and how this stillness speaks of death. Almost like puppets and dolls in play, I take them on a journey of change and exploration, perhaps offering them a renewed sense of agency, resurrection and hope. These images were not designed to be used in paintings, their intended use was cheap printed instructional material and quickly forgotten books. Many of the images I work with date from the 1930’s-1980’s, they represent personal ancestry, collective histories, traditions and loss.