|I am a Liverpool-based artist (see CV /
producing mainly ink on paper
drawings and acrylic paintings. On-site drawing and writing are at
the root of my practice. Sometimes a series of drawings emerges as a
finished statement and at other times they become part of an evolving
and reductive process, resulting in acrylic paintings.
Documentary drawing projects
Influenced to a degree by the Mass Observation project that began in
the nineteen-thirties, the nature of my documentaries is direct
observational drawing, often of everyday subjects in busy and varied
locations. I therefore limit my medium to pen on paper, finding that
line is an honest and clear way of putting the information down. Once a
viewpoint is identified I simply sit and draw. Sounds, smells and the
general atmosphere of the place are also recorded in a notebook.
I enjoy the challenge of using a pen: once a line is committed to the
paper there is no going back and no method of erasure resulting in a
raw linear beauty.
Between 2007 and 2010 I was involved in two self-initiated documentary
projects based in local university Art and design Departments
(Liverpool John Moores
University, recording the last year in the life
of four buildings used for many years by the Liverpool School of Art
and Design, and Liverpool Hope
where as artist in residence I documented activies in the Cornerstone
Creative Campus). In 2010, some of these drawings were selected for the
'Line and Form' exhibition in the Chapel Gallery, Ormskirk.
During 2010-2011 I initiated the drawing project 'On the Edge',
which involved 12 months documenting life in a group of soon to be
demolished shops on Wavertree Road, Liverpool. Some of the work
produced was exhibited in the International Biennial
of Drawing (2010, Czech Republic, and later in Slovakia), the 6th International Biennale
(2011, Melbourne and Victoria, Australia), a solo exhibition in
2011 at the Unity Theatre, Liverpool, and the VIII International Biennial of Drawing, 2012, (Pilsen, Czech Republic, touring in Europe until Spring 2014).
In 2011, I began another documentary project called 'In a quiet space'
(2011-14). This involved drawing and making notes of the many
different activities in libraries, many of which have since closed
as a result of funding cuts.Some of these works formed the solo exhibition 'A place to be',
(September-November 2012 at the Upper Gallery, Toxteth Library, Windsor
Street, Liverpool, and January-February 2013 at Spellow Library,
As part of the 2013 City of Culture, I had a solo exhibition Drawn there,
at the Waterside Theatre & Arts Centre, Derry/Londonderry, Northern
Ireland. I had another solo exhibition of work from this
project at the Unity Theatre
in March 2014. Three works were also selected for the juried IX International Biennial of Drawing,
2014 exhibition in Pilsen, Czech Republic (October/November 2014 in
the City of Pilsen Gallery and the Jiří Trnka Gallery, and then touring Europe throughout 2015).
A combination of work from 'On the Edge' and 'In a quiet space' was shown in a solo exhibition 'In this place'
(2012, the Colne Gallery, Colchester). Other solo exhibitions
featuring selected works from all of the above projects took place
in 2012 ('Lines of investigation' at the Castle Park Arts Centre, Frodsham, and 'Observations' at the University of Liverpool School of
Histories, Languages and Cultures, Abercromby Square, Liverpool).
Browsing for books
Acrylic landscape paintings
paintings concern the purity of the experience and that engagement of
being there; this can involve making rapid instinctive drawings whilst
actually walking through the landscape, or simply sitting reflectively
and writing blocks of descriptive colour notes.
In the studio the
notes and drawings are carefully referenced to make reductive paintings
of the scene. Recognisable shapes are stripped away leaving a landscape
represented by simple bands of colour.
Some of these paintings were exhibited in 2010 in the 'About here' exhibitions in Liverpool at 'The Gallery' and at MerseyBIO.
Other acrylic landscapes were exhibited in a group show 'Sea Scapes - Land Shapes' at the Nordic Church & Cultural Centre, Park Lane, Liverpool September-October 2012.
Storm at the promenade