As a working artist I understand the process and problem of creating a visual structure in what ever form that might be. My method of operating has always been that of ‘making is thinking’ which recognises the experiential creative process over one that is purely mechanical or coldly conceptual, and where materials and processes mediate between thoughts and ideas. My work is about play in every sense of the word, mind games to tease the eye and engage the senses. Fed by an obsessive desire for the childish and childlike naive innocence as viewed through the eyes of an adults knowledge and experience, the work is far from puerile and often leads to challenging and thought provoking images and sculptures. I use found objects such as toys, gold and silver jewellery as symbols to connect with my audience in communicating a variety of messages. Working in a style similar alla prima and never rubbing out I attempt to make the most of any mistakes. As in life, its not what you put in, but what you leave out that counts.
I have never lost my child like fascination for toys and games. As children we view them as innocent playthings, objects that explore our fantasies and imaginary adventures, and they act as a social connection enabling us to make friends, have arguments and learn important interactions. I use them to connect with my audience in different ways by communicating a variety of messages, threatening, humorous, sexual, rude, political, religious and often ironic, particularly when related to the title of the work.
Titles such as ‘My God is Better Than Yours’ resonate with playground teasing – ‘Mines Better Than Yours,’ but also have a more chilling message when related to current and past world conflicts. Often a piece of work begins by playing with toys, rearranging them in such a way so as to communicate a powerful message or a narrative. Using colour to enhance this, sometimes symbolically, often to create a mood or atmosphere. The addition of gold or silver charms and rare toys which are embedded into the paint also speak of the misguided values that we place on such items, whilst also devaluing them, but perhaps heightening the value of the work.
Within each work is a message. It would be easy to look at them as a random selection of toys embedded into paint, but consider the titles, look at the toys themselves and how they are arranged, and think about the colour use. These are not bedtime stories, but they have the power to make us think, laugh out loud, feel uncomfortable, or challenge our views.’