I have been working in clay for almost 25 years, and have a Bachelor of Arts and Masters degrees in Ceramics. At Eton College (England), I lived and on campus and taught fine art with a specific focus on ceramics for 15 years, before immigrating to Melbourne Australia in October 2018. I have exhibited internationally within the U.K, Europe and Australia. Currently I am Artist in Residence at Scotch College.
Inspiration for Works
Much of my recent work is influenced by the significant history of the educational institutions in which I have worked for many years. These sculptures of boys are informed by first hand experiences of the day - to - day routines of these schools and their communities, as well as their fascinating photographic archives. The resulting sculptures explore themes of commemoration, mateship and coming of age. These subjects resonate with my own history as both an artist and teacher of boys.
I was born in Newcastle Upon Tyne (England) in the 70's. My Mother, who had a long standing interest in fine art, took me to the great historical institutions of London, including the British Museum and V&A, where I was overwhelmed by the vast displays. For me these collections highlight important associations that concern location, commemoration and the souvenir.
Whilst visiting Córdoba, Spain during Semana Santa I became fascinated by the decorated Passos and started looking at Byzantine Madonna and child groups as well as sculptures of saints and monarchy. I became interested in the concealment of their bodies in patterned robes, jewels and gowns. The fabric seeming to frame their faces and protruding hands. This eventually led to the idea of resting bodies, both encased in and protected by patterned wrappings. Porcelain, terracotta and vitreous slips create an exquisite textural finish to these works, with dribbles of glaze and flashes of gold to accentuate their rich qualities.
The sleeping figures are flat-backed wall-mounted sculptures. The form of a body is cocooned in densely patterned fabrics. Finding new ways to apply colour and experiment with the versatility of slip and glaze application as well as combining printmaking techniques is quite a driving force. I find clay to be the most versatile material and well suited to the expression of my ideas.
I have used images from school archives directly as surface design. Additionally, I have incorporated my own sketches drawn from this bygone photography.