Essentially, my art is an exploration of what happens in stillness. Just like the oceans draw towards the moon, there are forces that move me, that are beyond my control or understanding. So in my art making, I observe what direction and movement things take with little or no mental guidance. I bring action through stillness, and stillness through action.
I begin my paintings with broad marks and accidental happenings, that are born out of a high energy and letting go of control. Layer upon layer the textures and colours are built up through a series of intentional yet accidental marks. I might intend an action, but what actually happens on the canvas is accidental. And the next intention grows out of what happened in the last. Finishing a work is a delicate process however, that requires much inquiry, sitting, and waiting for the path forward to emerge. In this time the mark making becomes very deliberate and thoughtful, and the energy is very still. until it slows and stops completely, and the work is finished.
My latest project is a series of prints made from the surface of Belongil Creek. The seasons, the weather, the movements of aquatic life and the daily tidal patterns, are some of the many cyclical factors that effect the contours and water quality of an estuary. Often, and sometimes not so often, a sort of scum builds up on the surface of the creek near its edges. Drawing from a similar project of mine in Bangkok, I decided to try to capture this on canvas. In the over burdened waterways of Bangkok, the thick layer floating on the water surface was nauseating. The work was an environmental statement, aimed to draw attention to a long overlooked problem. But here on the banks of Belongil Creek, where there is very little human impact, the floating film is very subtle and beautiful. Even the most transparent of surface covering leaves a beautiful mark when transferred onto the canvas. To make a print, I simply place the canvas onto the surface of the water, and carefully lift it off again. Like the start of my paintings, I have little control over what happens here, some will drip away and some will remain. After drying, and fixing the prints, I decide whether to work on them further with acrylic mediums and transparent glazes.
As an artist, I am inspired by nature and natural rythyms. Cycles, spirals, water, transformation, impermanence, alchemy. And more than anything else, I am inspired by my own and other peoples response to nature. Like when you see a beautiful sunset, that sense of just being totally in the moment, when the magic takes over your being and all else falls away.