I have been a practicing artist, with gallery representation for over 10 years. My studio has recently been built in my back garden, so you know where I am spending most of my time! My bodies of work have changed over the years, but one thing has remained the same - my love of integrating old photographs.
I have always been interested in old photographic images and the way photographs can give a sense of emotion or recognition. During art school, I began to actively use old photos of my mother in my art. It was less of a nostalgic approach, and more of a curiosity to understand what this private British woman was like as a child and teenager. I used the photos as a type of ‘window into the soul’ approach. However, the more I explored old photography, the more I would have a sense that in some way we can all feel connected to old photos. Photography has the ability to tap into the collective memory, a feeling of recognition, or at least a stirring in our own memories that gives us connection to the photograph.
My practice has continued to use photography in a variety of ways, sometimes adding so much paint, the photo image is more hidden, other times the photography is prominent. It is the blurring of the mediums that continues to intrigue me; where the photo ends and where the paint begins, and how the two mediums can work with or against each other.
When I was in art school, someone had placed 2 perfect circles on the window. At the time, I liked the idea that I was looking through layers - the translucent painted circles, the glass pane and the scene beyond - 3 layers. It has also evolved over the years, as I tend to be drawn to man-made markings left in nature. For example, tree’s that are marked with bright circles or patches to delineate trails. The idea that man has left his mark, which both guides, but at the same time is leaving a reminder of man’s presence on nature. So, now when I add the red circles, which have become a bit of a signature of mine, I am hovering within those 2 concepts: layers and my own marks imprinted on ’nature’.