First and foremost, I am inspired by my surrounds. The sights and sounds of my city, my world.
My work bridges a gap between “fine art” photography and abstract painting. I have the mental approach of a painter mainly concerned with inner states of existence that result from my reaction with the physical and emotional environment that I experience on a day to day basis. I try to portray these feelings as focussed reflected thoughts or meditations by manipulating colour and special relationships.
I dissociate known relationships (reality) and reassociate them in new ways until I feel that the work is capable of communicating its essence to the viewer. I am attempting to appeal to a “collective unconscious” (Jung) by creating works that have universal cross-cultural meaning, although each work should have individual resonance with, and promote diverse reactions from, different viewers.
The universal appeal I seek would best be described as a kind of studied introspection; to fix someone’s attention for a while. To stimulate them to study the piece and discover detail hitherto unnoticed from a more distant view, and in so doing, accompany me on a mental journey to the inner state of existence, which allowed the work to be created in the first place. Whether the piece be quiet or loud, uplifting or sombre, I want the viewer to experience the subtle shifts in tonal variation and colour relationships, and be inspired or moved by them. I want to invite them into the work to study its intricacies, and to occupy the space intellectually.
I want my work to transcend the merely decorative and become the simple expression of complex thought, revealing its message to those that are open to receiving it. To do this I utilise contemporary techniques, like photography, and combine this with over-painting, collage and mixed media to achieve the effects I want. This has allowed me to move away from process-led artistic outcomes and achieve a synthesis of art not possible with single medium approaches. It has allowed me to explore the possibilities of creating new physical and conceptual frameworks and process routes, which facilitates pure improvisation.
I believe it is the duty of the artist to examine and re-examine the world and its values with whatever tools are at hand, and I find myself in complete agreement with Stephen Shaw, who said: “I regard what I do as art and don’t draw a distinction between photography and painting….” Art is about ideas, not technology. Technology is not a substitute for creativity. There is no “art” button on a computer keyboard or camera. To me the tools and the process are largely irrelevant. Only the result, and the underlying concept that led to it should be considered when evaluating a piece of art.
For those interested in further reflecting on abstraction in the digital age, I recommend an essay by Lev Manovich: “Abstraction and Complexity”.