This section highlights some personal projects
A plate, broken into twenty pieces.
Twenty torn fragments of old prints,
Each with a story to tell.
Piece by piece, digging into the past.
From skyscrapers and plane trails,
to war memorials and arrow heads,
to standing stones and a human skull,
to ammonites and oakstone, deepest buried.
Excavated from the earth,
To form a world.
On one level, Fragments is a journey through my own past, drawing on my previous career as an archaeologist and using scraps of prints I created throughout my years as an artist. Many of these prints reflect significant moments in my own life, from my childhood in Derbyshire to my adult life in Scotland. On another level, Fragments addresses the relationship between past and present in society as a whole, depicting how reconstruction of the past through the study of history and archaeology is used to construct the identity and values of society in the present. I hope that Fragments will also prompt the reflection that our present will one day be the past. Future generations will have to construct their identity from the fragments we leave behind – do we wish our legacy to be a world shattered by conflict and environmental destruction?
Fragments (mixed media) diameter of each image 25.5cm
Felled and Ashes
Felled and Ashes, a suite of large charcoal drawings, use the theme of forestry and fire to explore our changing relationship to our planet.
Felled and Ashes were made using unprocessed charcoal from a garden bonfire. I began by rubbing the dust and unevenly burnt charcoal fragments over half of the paper and from these ‘organic’ marks discovered the remains of roots and branches. Wood has long provided us with fuel, construction material and paper, but as the human population grows so does our hunger for natural resources, leading to the inexorable industrialisation of the countryside. Tree plantations are felled by machines which are themselves powered by fossilised wood. Afterwards the brash is burned or piled up to rot and the land, mangled by machinery, can now only support another short-lived tree monoculture.
The four Felled drawings depict the aftermath of this devastation. However, the heaps of discarded branches perhaps also suggest the roiling waves of the sea. A form of renewable energy for the future – or another part of our world that we are in danger of ruining through our relentless exploitation?
Felled (West, East, South, North) charcoal, each 40 x 120cm paper size
Ashes (charcoal and pastel) 58 x 77cm