STATEMENT
 
My painting practice is concerned with the fracture between how we’d like things to be and how we actually experience them.

In my latest series of paintings I explore the idea of a rainforest, but one devoid of insects and oppressive humidity. The jungles depicted are not hot, dank places, but fantastical ones full of hallucinatory shapes and gaudy colours. Mixing up New Age iconography with the type of scenes usually reserved for tacky retro screensavers, the paintings are best summed up as J.G. Ballard meet Anaconda. Although they depict landscapes, they’re mediated landscapes – jungles seen through a screen, not experienced first-hand.

Playful, with a strong material focus and a tension between the gestural mark making and muddy oil paint, the use of machined stencils and neon acrylic paint shatters illusions of pictorial space.

The jungle series evolved from earlier work that was much more concerned with luxury items and places. These works played on a tension between the subject matter and the paintings’ execution. The glossy, perfect items are presented in a scrubby, gestural fashion that undermines their desirability. This approach stemmed from interest in the way shiny newness quickly becomes tarnished – a longed for item or experience hastily switches from desirable to banal.

These paintings were very much concerned with the way in which we define ourselves through consumption and the easy, empty seductiveness of consumer culture. They reflected the surface level –being seen at the ‘right’ places, desirably dressed, looking gorgeous and glossy with gleaming white teeth – but also dug deeper to show that life is messier than films and advertising, and however much we pursue this illusion, it inevitably falls short.

Although people are not physically in these paintings, their presence is very much felt – the objects and places depicted operate as signifiers – we all possess a stereotypical idea about the individuals who drive Porsches or leave their knickers in a bush. The absence of people gives a sense of stalled narrative, what happened and what’s next?

I work from photography, both found images and ones I’ve taken – using mediated images gives a distance and a slight coldness to the work.

The paintings are generally flat, with passages of glossy, built-up areas and visceral chunks of crusty paint.