Early in career, later in life, I am out of sync - a female phenomenon. I grew up in the natural surroundings of a forest, and then on a boat. I have since called over 30 places my home in 14 different countries - a guest, an outsider, a foreigner, an observer. I took my MFA in New York, perhaps the epicentre of world ambition, coming from Kathmandu where there was electricity for just two hours a day - the change in physical surroundings and mental state was extreme. Now back in the UK, the place of my birth, perhaps I am putting down a root. Still, I look for that special something that comes from being out of ‘normal’ surroundings, where attention is alerted and new ideas are possible.
I am a painter - I sometimes question if that is enough these days, when sculpture, installation, video, digital media etc. seem to have so much prominence. The truth is, I love paint and what it can do, and my curiosity with its possibilities hasn’t yet been satiated.
We all have our own ideas of how things are. I imagine everything is linked - life, thought, culture - through a continuous process of fragmentation and realignment. I am intrigued that we can change our opinion on something simply by changing our perception of it, that we can hold opposing ideas, happily unaware of the inconsistency or outright contradictions. In our different ways we all try to put cohesion around fragmented perceptions, experiences, heritage, circumstances, needs and drives. These are the things I am motivated to paint about.
Paint has the ability to shift between a tangible physical substance as well as a vehicle for illusion. The two aspects sit comfortably with each other when one is given clear prominence over the other - abstract textures or painterly illusion. As they come closer to equal consideration, however, they risk annihilating each other - the texture undoes the work of the illusion, or the illusion undoes the abstract work of the texture. This negotiation of the two sides of paint is a place I love to explore because I see here a connection with the way we think - I want to celebrate the variety and layering of thought, hide complexity within simplicity, and allow aspects to reveal themselves slowly.