Our humanity is a gift to celebrate. Every place and every person we meet with is altered by our expression of this humanity. We too are directly affected by each encounter in which we participate.
The living of our lives is an exchange of creative thoughts and actions between each individual, and between each one of us and the environment we inhabit.
I was born in the middle of the last century: Grew up in a small mining town in the East Midlands: Chose to begin my formal education at a university in a steel town on the shores of Lake Ontario, Canada: Continued that formal learning several decades later at a university bordering the orchards of Kent.
My career as an artist, writer and garden maker spans four decades. My learning during this time has been nourished by the process of making both gardens and art works and by working alongside other skilled artisans in my chosen fields.
PAINTING AND DRAWING
Paintings I produce when in a state of intense engagement and high energy. The image emerges from the paper rapidly. Once born, the colour and form ’rest’ awhile allowing me an opportunity to translate the details and present them in prose form where they take on a new life, illuminating in an alternative way the subject of my enquiry.
I use a multiplicity of materials on paper in my present exploration of the deeper recesses of the inner landscape of human beings.
Experience and existence is in constant flux. I use a camera to take notes of moments that fall in on us, sometimes like quiet angels, other times as pyrotechnic eruptions.
Photographs are an accompaniment to my prose, print making and drawing. But they also stand alone.
As a printmaker I make collographs, monoprints, and lithographs. Printmaking is a highly flexible technique, able to process the rich surface textures and colours that saturate the places and spaces I explore.
My practise was born amid the rich geology and flora of England’s limestone uplands; and within the grit of post industrial decay in Britain and North America. The stories embedded within these polarised environments are often complex, sometimes very ‘dark’, quiet with aged wisdom, but always remarkable.
I work primarily with found objects, testing materials to the limit, the welfare of the etching press blankets the only constraints on my experimentation.
Card or mild steel form the base for the collograph block. The process of making the printable surface begins with mark-making using knives, glues and carborundum. The emerging printing block quickly suggests how and what, from my collected materials, to collage onto this foundational drawing.
Materials, such as metals, papers, textiles, rubber, foliage etc. are selected, often modified, before becoming a part of the drawing. Once secured on the block the collaged material forms another layer on which to build more drawn marks.
This selective process of responding to the accumulating layers on the block, searches out the elemental core of the material I’m wishing to reveal, the finished block a unique essay on the subject under scrutiny.
Once made the collagraph blocks are inked using water based etching inks, the coloured surface of the block then pressed into the paper using an etching press.
The print is ‘pulled’ from the surface of the block to reveal the finished work which is heavily embossed, surfaced textured and richly coloured; each print a unique painting.
6 Photographic Portraits.
Ashbourne Arts Festival, Ashbourne, Derbyshire
Art and Architecture.
Wirksworth Arts Festival. Wirksworth, Derbyshire
Petasites Officinalis I.
Air Arts, Royal Derby Hospital, Derbyshire
Petasites Officinalis II.
Abbot Beyne School of Art, Burton Upon Trent, Staffordshire
Through Our Eyes.
The Silk Mill. Derby, Derbyshire
Wirksworth Arts Festival, Derbyshire
The Print Studio. Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Jacket for a 6 Year Old.
The Gallery at Royal Mills, Ancoats, Manchester
2 days at 2K.
Beehive Mill. Ancoats, Manchester
Heritage Open Day.
Murrays’ Mills, Ancoats, Manchester
Surfaces I - VIII.
Ancoats Urban Village Company. Ancoats, Manchester
School of Art and Design. University of Derby
Amber House Gallery. Tideswell, Derbyshire
Joseph Wright - a Contemporary Interpretation.
Derby City Art Gallery
Derby Assembly Rooms, Derby.
Die, Drome, France
Ferrers Gallery, Staunton Harold, Leicestershire
‘Paintings’ made as a writer are short pieces of prose toppling over into poetry. Although my prose stands alone it is more often than not an accompaniment to an image, or series of images, exploring a specific theme. The images can be photographs, paintings or prints.
I present the prose and image combination in folio and book form – hand-made and as limited editions.
The broadsheet is another favourite form of publication. It is a very accessible and flexible format that I use to document, enrich and promote a new body of work ready for launch in the studio gallery.
With an ambition to interweave more thoroughly my writing, garden-making, painting and printmaking, I enjoy an ever broadening canvas. To be awake to the world is to be stimulated, that stimulation feeds my curiosity and skill to express the subject matter that intrigues me the most – our internal landscape, with its constantly unfolding scenery, as it shapes the external spaces that nourish it.
My current home, studio and gallery is in the White Peak, Derbyshire, but I have travelled, worked and studied in North America, Europe, South Africa, Singapore and Australia.
Murrays’Mills, Ancoats, Manchester Biography of Repair.
Terry’s Field Illustrated short story.
Children of the BRIC Economies – Mumbai, India Illustrated Essays.
Orford Ness Limited edition comprising short stories, photographs and collograph print. September 2013
Dragons Breath Broadsheet publication comprising prose, photographs and illustrations. September 2015