Sandgate, Folkestone, Kent
“Edged With Flame” (August 2012)
Digital print on canvas, over-painted with acrylics.
Each dot of the printed image is over-painted as a contemplative exercise in Mindfulness. Each image in the series took up to 80 hours to paint.
After completing the MA in Graphic Fine Art – an interdisciplinary blend of printmaking, photography, video and sound – I worked in a wholly digital form for a while. My submissions to exhibitions in Hangdong (2000 and 2001) and Beijing (2003) were digital montages, produced on computer and posted to the curators on disk. Although this approach was novel, the lack of control over the final product was alarming. After a couple of years, this way of working became too limiting and I returned to painting. I continued to use the digital image, but they were now outputontocanvasses which were stretched in the traditional manner and then over-painted in oils or acrylics. In recent work the overpainting replicates the digital image and is a contemplative process which allows me to give meticulous attention and time to explore the tension or the balance in my relationship with the individual being painted.
My current work uses this combination of digital imagery and painting and focuses on family issues; relationships, nostalgia, contemplation and reverie on family (his)stories. This is informed by postmemory* examination of family photographs, which are used as the initial source of my inquiry, and explores the aesthetic and social integrity of the photos we take at family events. This series of works explore the blurring and fragmentation of memories. They are an expression of how the ‘photographic’ clarity of our recollections can break down over time and how the details of a re-remembered memory shift. Painting is still at the core of what I produce, but I have recently expanded my practice to include soundworks and texts set in neon sign lettering.
* Post-memory literature involves psychoanalytical examination old photographs, interpreting relationships, settings and body language.