"Artist/painter. Amalgamating a
conscious surrounding environment
with borderline surrealist tendencies"
Based in Manchester, UK.
My work is narrative based and I'm largely inspired by nature. Human nature and the natural world. I'm a compulsive drawer which serves as the backbone to my paintings and a visual diary.
Born in Kidderminster, I grew up nearby in Stourport-on-Severn in Worcestershire. A small toursit town on the River Severn with an annual summer carnival which always coincided with swarms of flying ants. My fondest memories of these early years was rampaging around Hartlebury common, a nature reserve of mixed vegetation. Here I would lose myself for hours searching for wildlife: snakes and newts, climbing trees and exploring the marshes.
At the age of thirteen I moved with my family to Lancashire. We lived in a tiny village near Pendle Hill, which is famous for witches and naturally built on ley lines. Here I would spend a lot of time walking in the hills and villages immersed in my own thoughts and it became natural for me when I got home to immerse these thoughts into my drawings.
This in turn lead me to art college where I specialised in illustration. After four years of art college I gained a place to study scientific illustration in higher education. It was at this junction, though, that I wavered. Did I really want to make work based on someone else's ideas? Or did I want to develop my own ideas?
I gained a place to study fine Art painting in Manchester. Being a country boy at heart, moving to the city certainly had a big impact on me, but I adapted and delved into city life and my work. What was to become my own voice was soon hindered by the tutors' ideals and by the end of the three years I had lost my way as an artist.
After finishing my degree I embarked on a one year postgraduate course in fine art in Cyprus. It was here that I found myself. The teaching method was anti-establishment and anti-fashion trends. Focusing predominantly on developing ones own interest and style and outside of the studio I was back to nature and an abundance of wildlife and adventures.
Hereafter I continued developing my style whilst living a regular life, of which I eventually moved back to Manchester. Over the last few years my work has started to move in the direction I'm comfortable with and I continue to push forward. I now go rampaging in the woods, swamps and countryside with my own son.
Common recurring themes throughout my work are love and madness, indigenous cultures and a sense of journey into the unknown. I have a whole host of characters developed from my life experiences that often make an appearance in my drawings and paintings.
In practice my drawings tend to be direct. Inspired by events in every day life. They may be sourced from dreams, novels, a news story, a wildlife documentary or quite simply immersing myself in music and automatic drawing.
Through sketchbooks I move from one idea to another and if from dozens of drawings I successfully complete a handful, then I have made good progress. I see my drawings as finished pieces of work, but it is through the act of drawing itself that I develop my ideas for painting.
I begin a painting with a preconceived idea and working title. I may take elements from a drawing, but not to the extent that I'm purely enlarging a drawing onto canvas. I like to see my paintings grow into their own on the canvas. Immersing myself in them over periods of time, changing elements along the way so they grow into my ideals. I build them up in layers and washes and the process of developing a piece becomes a large part of my practice. The completion of a painting tends to be quite textured in parts with trails of marks and shapes echoing in the background.
I'm inspired by the genres of Magic Realism and Expressionism and there is an intended dark humour to my drawings and paintings. This is something that I both like to explore as an artist and wish to communicate through my work to the viewer.