I have always had a keen interest in the environment. After completing a degree in Environmental Science I became frustrated that my job wouldn’t actually make any improvement to the environment but just regulate it. I became frustrated with how we treat farmers around the world and point the blame at them, with out taking into consideration their way of living and culture. After hearing a talk by a Sierra Leonian environmental scientist I realised that story telling is very powerful tool, as all walks of life can relate to it, weather they are educated or not. this was my lightbulb moment. I realised I could join my love of art and concern for the environment and possibly make a difference. Similar to how tympanums told stories to pilgrims in the 12th century about religion and its apocalypse, I could tell the world about the environmental apocalypse.
Along with nature, I am very interested in psychology. These two interests inform my art. The third interest is the philosophical concept of the sublime. This is something I strive towards. Each time I make a decision in my work, I choose subtle sublime feelings over anything else. I want to create work that makes the viewer question and feel an under current of fear.
Process is very important to me, that’s why I chose to study printmaking. As a person, I generally rush things and cut corners. Intaglio as a medium forces discipline on me. I use analogue camera and darkroom-printing to slow myself down and force myself to think. I also enjoy hand drawn things and handmade animations. Especially in today’s fast-paced world, a person like me is lost. Returning back to more low tech media grounds me. I want to pare back my way of living. Take the time to really take everything. I want this to reflect in my creating of art and how it’s viewed.
This process feeds into my concept. I want to try and force the viewer to slow down and digest my work. One way I do this is by placing prints in boxes. If a person wants to view it, they must sit down and open it, sparking a curiosity. Today, information is so quick and easy to access, I’m taking that away. The work is created slowly and it is consumed slowly. Our current throw away culture is detrimental to the planet but also our minds and mental health. We should be more conscious and caring, and we would be much happier.
Over all I would like to inform people subtly of the importance of maintaining and improving the environment.
The concept of time and being made aware of your own mortality is something I want to portray in my current work. Using different devices, I will lead the viewer through a trajectory of emotions. The emotions will be a feeling of awe, terror and unease, relating to the sublime. The main device I like to use is never showing people’s face, so you cannot determine how they feel. I also like to use black and white or if using colour just block of one colour.
Although these following artists seem dispersed and unrelated, I take inspiration from each of them. The artists I relate to are; Kathe Kollowitz, she was a printmaker who dealt with motherhood but the part I related to is difficult subject matter of war. Her images are quite disturbing. I also like her ways of using printmaking itself as a medium. Gustav Metzgers piece ‘To Crawl into’ inspires me, as he physically forces the viewer to get town and lift the tarps to see the image. Although his subject matter is obviously a lot more personal to him, and heavier. Francesca Woodman too, many self portraits with similar devices such as no face visible, black and white. I also take self portraits. Patrick Jolley often has sublime subject matter, using black and white film too.
I am passionate about the world we live in, and how things are made. It’s important to me that my work has good morals, is honest, and considerate.