What is life? What is death? Why do we seem so intent on sleepwalking through life? How does consumerism impact our relationship with life? That is what drives me to make art.
I feel most alive and complete when I am creating art. It defines me. To discover the meaning of my work I need to have a physical connection to it. I like to use my hands, even fingernails to feel the material and the surface rather than being at a remove.
My constructed works are predominantly created rapidly, although the concept will have been taking shape subconsciously or consciously. I am searching for meaning.The discovery that reality is subjective is at the root of my art. What we see is just a construct of our brain interpreting reality, and there are other realities that science, philosophy and religion can grasp at but never fully understand. What is life? And why do we seem so intent on destroying it? Why do so many of us value money over everything? That is what drives me to make art.
Can feeling constrained by method or format be a living death?? I would rather fail spectacularly or indeed miserably than play it safe and stick with what I know works. That way would lie tedium and disillusionment.
How the space an artwork is displayed in affects the viewers perception, interests me. And how attaching a label to an object changes it. I like to play with these concepts. Repurposing found material, overlooked and ignored objects. Making the plinth an integral part of the artwork, or making the plinth THE artwork. Giving detritus a value.
I am conscious that some of my work could be construed as offensive. While each viewer will respond individually they are meant to shock and to provoke discourse rather than offend.
To me looking at art should mirror the way that we appreciate music. When I play the piano or listen to a piece of music my experience doesn’t require an external explanation of its meaning. It comes from deep within rather than from an appreciation of any likeness to the visible world.
I believe that you should take time to appreciate a single work. Linger don’t rush. Let it absorb you and see if it connects with you and you with it.
My latest project is exhibitions using found objects in situ. The intervention is my recognising them as art – the first in the series was Not the Degree Show. Currently exhibiting at Giardini and Arsenale in Venice until 24 Nov 2019. Images from the exhibition are on the Appropriated Art page.