Before I started to concentrate on landscapes and the colours and tones that surround me, I painted and created other things. This is a little insight into some of the work I did in college and at other times in my life. Some of it is quite academic and arty, which at times I love, because it’s fantastic to get your teeth into a meaty art subject and really dissect it.
In college you are taught to break the subject down to its core, examine every element and question every decision you make. I guess I have kept that ethos with me, even when painting a still life or a landscape, every brush stroke is considered, every colour I mix is contemplated and I sit and look at paintings in progress for ages. This is a really important part of my painting process, it’s really important to consider the overall feeling of a painting, is it doing what I want? Does it need texture? Is it too busy? Is it too quiet? Are the colours and contrasts working? Is there enough light and shade? If I can answer these questions, I know I’m on the right road, otherwise it’s a paint over!
So, the work you will see below is the result of five years in college and more. I have tried to explain the ethos of the pieces in a little text on each series. In college the route that appealed to me to start a project was usually looking a particular issue – poverty, sexuality, disability, identity, memory, etc. this is called issue art. My process always starts with academic research. I will trawl the internet and libraries for as much information as I can read on the given subject, this takes weeks, sometimes months. I need to completely understand my subject before I start to create work. The next stage will be more focused research combined with making. So, for example, I will read a complex paper on sexuality and then I will create work, drawings, paintings to try to understand that paper and what I want to say about the subject. It is a long process but very rewarding, I believe that you can’t make work about important issue based subject unless you have done the groundwork and have given it the respect and consideration it deserves. Each series has its own title and the series use various media, paintings, sculpture, photography, performance and video.
Click the links below to view each series.
IN THE RED TENT | OSSIEN MATTERS | POLIO SERIES | DOLLS PLAY