Tuesday, 4 January 2011

My Artist Statement

Drawing has always been central to my work. Even before I could articulate a sentence, I would make attempts at understanding this world through the use of pencil and paper. The proto-artist grew into an obsessive doodler and journal keeper that is never tongue-tied on paper and whose imagination isn’t emasculated by self-consciousness. It has taken the whole of my life to experience this epiphany.
This heart of my work lies initially in my sketchbooks;  they hold everything from lines of poetry to current shopping lists, typographic experiments to acts of revenge. They are my storehouse, my confessional and my laboratory. Everything is bearable when I know that my books, glue and boxes of cuttings are nearby.
When I embark on a new piece of work it is nothing less than a spiritual communion. Sometimes the process runs so smoothly, so naturally it’s as if I’ve tapped into some cosmic energy that transcends my everyday existence. Everything I hear, see or do feeds into my sketchbooks. My eyes like a magpie’s, always on the lookout for a sliver of colour, a scrap of text, or a bastard thought that has been discarded. My work affords me the potential and the omnipotence that is God’s alone.
In my work I AM GOD, I can play with cliché; wallow in the sentimental, brood on the arcane without fear, without censure. I can be ugly but reach for the sublime. Confront death but rejoice in creation, this is my world and I call the shots.
Up until recently these books were my private preserve, my playground, my padded cell and for my eyes alone. My body of work stems from these books but in a more resolved, pared down form. In the past few years I have come to see that my books were the wellspring of my art and they represented my only unique contribution to the world. I have found my voice and calibrated my vision.
Every piece of work comes from the heart. I am flashing my very soul. Every piece has resonance. And in placing my work in the public domain I have left myself exposed and vulnerable. But at this stage of my life I can’t settle for half measures. Honesty and integrity are what matters.
Every medium has at sometime or other been co-opted to serve my vision, from linocuts to Japanese brush and ink. Whatever comes to hand, nothing is safe. My works are an ever hungry monster that is never sated. Happily my mind is an ever-churning processor that prepares the feed. I nurture them with maternal care, sawing up the juicy morsels to feed the vacant pages. Curiously, once a work is complete – replete, the spell is broken and I would happily never set eyes on it again. Like a tick that feeds off its host until its fat and full then drops off and disappears. Each work represents a period of my life in which time it is my child, the centre of my universe but alas, I am a fickle and feckless mother.
 Everything I create evolves from the same source. My collages are constructed from found images, rubber stamps, hand drawings and text. All born from my books but exist separate and alone in and alternate dimension. My themes are the great ones, birth, death and life in between. I offer them for your delectation. 

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