"Creation is the artists true function; where there is no creation, there is no art".
Throughout my life, I have been creating and exploring my artistic side. From illustration, design, abstract painting and stitching, I have always endeavoured to explore a variety of mediums. My love of fine art has always been the constant in my life.
I formalised my artistic practice at Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design achieving high merit in my undergraduate Certificate in Foundation and my Certificate of Arts and Design.
Although my background was originally illustration, I have now evolved my practice into pure abstraction, driving my need for self-expression without the constraints of reality.
I create out of my studio in Waihi, New Zealand, and for a few months every year from a studio in The Netherlands. The difference between the northern and southern hemispheres both culturally and visually, energises and stimulates my creative experience. Apart from creating artistic expressions, I enjoy spending time outdoors, reading, walking and meditating. Music plays an important part in my creative process, evoking moods and emotions while developing work. I enjoy an eclectic range of music that changes depending on the development of my artwork and the direction it is going.
"It has always bothered me my whole life, that I do not paint like anybody else"
- Henri Matisse
"Effort is not measured by what you get for it, but by what you become because of it" - unknown
As my art practice evolves, I am conscious of a shift in my approach to my work. I am contemplating and examining why I work the way I do and what drives me on in this rather unusual process I have adopted.
Looking at the Arts and Crafts Movement, I am inspired by the characteristics of this crusade. William Morris' vision to produce beautiful things with traditional craft and artistic methods are now front and centre of my own practice.
With its rectilinear motifs, the Arts and Craft Movement is influential in a new body of work. Simple shapes, the play of colour, the interruption of line, are at the forefront of a new collection. Although obviously not functional, my desire is to have a high aesthetic value with workmanship being a regarded component of my artwork.
I am interested in the combination of art as an expression and craft as a form of work; how these two aspects read together and the perception of this juxtaposition for the viewer.
Appealing to both the need for limitless spontaneity coupled with the need for some semblance of order, my process is my enabler to freedom.
As a process driven artist, I enjoy experimenting with a combination of paint, ink, graphite, charcoal and thread. My paintwork often embodies a fabric like quality as it is removed from one surface to another and hand-stitched and/or adhered into place. Placed on either a solid background or an expressive, loose background, my solid paint 'fabric' offers an original juxtaposition of mediums. As light bounces off foil and metallic thread, I endeavour to draw the viewers eye back to the artwork, to cause them to pause and reflect. Walking a tightrope between the fastidious and the liberated means my process is at once loose and intuitive, controlled and calculated.
Working on either heavy (300+gm) hand-made paper or canvas, I approach my ground as an embroider would approach their chosen fabric. Working quickly with watercolour, ink, and/or acrylic paint, a base is laid ready for my 'fabric' pieces to be stitched and/or adhered onto. Shapes are picked out in thread and add a 3-D quality to my pieces.
I am recently experimenting re-using older works as collage pieces - stitching into place, giving these achived works new life. This new approach is adding another dimension and depth to new artworks that now have an applique facet to them.
INFLUENCING THERORY - THE VIENNA SECESSION
The Vienna Secession has been a relevant movement to my own practice. By giving applied art equal standing and value to purely painted works has given me the freedom to experiment and not under-value my own works. By balancing both the pure paint element of my works and the almost hand-craft element of my thread-work, I have endeavoured to give each component equal merit and meaning without one dominating the other.
I believe, 'Decorative Function' draws the viewer in. It isnt for its own sake. It is to move the observer deeper; to attempt to engage them with the very essence of the work.
DECORATION + SOMETHING MORE