Together Without You
Grief framed me, so the wreath became the frame. A collection of pencil drawings which conflate the existence of isolation and connection, of grief and love; of feeling broken, and being whole.
I will be exhibiting this collection at The Harbour House Gallery, Kingsbridge, Devon from 19/11/19 to 24/11/19.
Gaze presents a series of drawings that were initially focused on male portraiture. I started off wanting to use these drawings to allow me to indulge in the beauty of the male form, but this highlighted two things to me: I felt unsafe looking at men, and I felt unseen; somewhat invisible unless I was presenting myself in a sexual way.
I wondered how if I controlled my relationships with men, and focused solely on drawing them, that possibly I could find a way to forge new and nourishing relationships with them. Could I control the processes of sexual desire and attraction, and protect myself from being consumed, or would it put me at risk of feeling even more isolated and invisible? Will my pencils provide me with visibility, and help me connect with men; or, will they reveal disturbing truths about myself and the possibility for love and intimacy?
Loved Ones presents a transition from the blisteringly dry and desolate heart of a great desert, to the borderline between sand and fertile flora. As I collect and record my loved ones, dark images and vignettes still permeate and disturb the beautiful view. The flowers confuse me with their captivating beauty, and the dark life that seems to exist below them.
As I move through these spaces, I find myself constantly questioning what I am seeing. Are the beautiful garden images just a mirage: faint and shallow, pleasant facades? Are the beautiful flowers I see and smell real and present, or are they hiding a difficult truth, which I am too afraid to look at, or too naïve to accept?
My artwork doesn't permit me an escape from myself, as some artwork does. Rather, it pulls me into an exploration of an enigmatic internal space. It also allows me to explore the narcissistic threat of falling in love with one’s images and one’s reflections. I question whether I will lose myself in my reflections, or whether this exploration will ultimately engender my liberation?
(Reference and inspriation: The Garden of Earthly Delights - Hieronymus Bosch, Blue Velvet - David Lynch)
When someone tells you to ‘let go’, how do you do it? When do you 'let go', and how do you know what to let go of?
Andy Warhol said that ‘As soon as you stop wanting something, you get it.’ Can I let go of the desire to find love and intimacy? Can I stop wanting it? In this series I wanted to focus solely on my hands, in the hope that maybe drawing the act of releasing and the un-tightening of my grip, I could magically let go of what I truly craved.
I always wanted to dance, to be a dancer; but I never followed that path. I've occasionally gone to a dance class, but I always feel stiff and wooden; awkward and fettered. I don't move like how I imagined I would when I was a child.
When I draw nudes though, I feel like a dancer. I am Nureyev...with a pencil, paper and some charcoal.
Anatomy of a cloud
I can never stop being fascinated with clouds, these spectacular, ever-changing superstars of the sky. I took my pencils and decided to dissect them, to absorb them; to try to hold on to them for ever.
Carmen de los Martires
Carmen de los Mártires is an estate near the Alhambra in Granada, Spain. When I resumed my drawing practice in 2010, I didn't have any real people to draw, so I would visit this estate and draw the statues and birds that inhabited the gardens.