Exhibited in July 2018
at the NRCG, Ballina
Re-connection is my first solo art exhibition outside of the UK as an emerging artist and explores my recent connections to the coastal areas of the Ballina Shire and surfing. I am currently working on a series of paintings in acrylic, depicting the local coastal areas. The work focuses on capturing the energy of local surf locations with painterly gestures and compositions in black and white on plastic (my modern approach to the tradition of reverse painting on glass) for me it gives an effect that has a very graphic and expressionist appearance.
Re-connection is an ongoing practice of images that explores my “re-connection” to painting and location after having a long departure from my “artistic self”. To explain, means talking a little about my past without too much detail...
I have painted and been a “creative” since I was young, brought into the Cornish art scene in the UK and by my father, who also has always been drawn to art and worked as a potter. Art and the outdoors, especially surf culture and seascapes have been a long, on-going inspiration for me having growing up by the sea in the UK. I pursued a career in art and graduated from UCA Maidstone in 2008 after studying Illustration for 3 years. At the end of my study, I realised I wasn’t a commercial artist, I was drawn to painting and fine art, I was lucky however, during a group exhibition to be spotted by an industry leading Art Director from M&C Saatchi, he loved my style and wanted me to start as an intern in the Soho office in London as a storyboard artist/creative. This was an amazing opportunity, I had no-idea what was involved or anything about the industry I was getting into, or subconsciously this was the start of my detachment from my “artistic self” and my long road back into painting again. To date I have been working as Graphic designer, who would of thought, a painter turned to design geek! I think a lot of people can relate to that in their own passions they pursue and personal endeavors when seeking security in life. I’ve been in the graphic design industry for nearly 8 years, and each one of those years I have always had my subconscious telling me and drawing me back into painting. And in 2017 I began my re-connection to my art when I moved to Ballina, through painting the local landscape and surf culture. I’ve been sketching many areas of the North Coast, hinterland and local beaches from Tweed to Yamba, I love feeling the wind, the heat, looking at the textures of the landscape, all these senses that you get outside. I often paint or sketch “en-plein-air”, putting all my energy and focus into the image I’m trying to capture, and then re-do the work on plastic.
Re-connection encompasses my connection to my “artist self”. It is my first exhibition outside of the UK, focusing on beautiful beaches and surf areas of Ballina. The images I create are primarily in black and white as this allows me to put more physical feeling into the image, which I sometimes find colour can distract from, the black and white imagery often creates a more romantic essence of the location. I do find myself drawn in to capturing elements of human activity, whether that’s a surfer walking down a beach or surfing in the water. My art practice uses alternative methods of painting on plastic with Acrylic, a technique that I have developed myself and worked with since I was a teenager, the images evolve from using photocopier acetate and Acrylic. The medium for me is the perfect choice to capture a moment and also, more importantly movement, almost like a photograph, the work embodies a similar feel. The finished pieces are fragile, so they are often scanned and then printed as digital fine art prints. The technique of painting and printing combines my artistic self, and the knowledge I have gained as an illustrator, and as a graphic designer. I am always perfecting the unconventional materials I use, and currently exploring my style through other mediums. The finished pieces for this exhibition are ready to hang, framed in natural Tasmanian oak with UV glass. All original pieces are available for sale.