My practice is predominantly orientated around creating a form that is pulled into abstraction by harmonising the subject with the composition of the background and therefore creating a balance within the composition of the canvas. This is achieved through my application of colour and the illusions that can be achieved through the manipulation of hues. Cezanne once said that ‘colour is the place where the brain and the universe meet’, I believe we see everything through colour and that is why the vibrancy and drama of colour is something I hold at the forefront of my practice. I have been drawing a lot of focus to the notion of the body as my subject matter, with Cecily Brown at the forefront of my research with her exploration of female sexuality. I believe the reason I feel an inherent desire to depict ‘the body’ is because it’s something all of us can relate to and therefore for me it is the most obvious form of self reflection and a means of transcending the sensation of experience onto the viewer. Narrative is driven through mankind therefore I think the body is a very relevant subject to concern myself with as a young artist.
As soon as I got off the plane from Mexico I headed into the abacus to start my three day residency for the exposure exhibition. I was still very much inspired by the image of the goat skull which I saw everywhere In Mexico, I think this is because the country is very superstitious and celebrates death. I wanted to use the motif of the goat skull and I used bright colours to pull the form into abstraction.
I enjoy the contrast of the ominous symbol for death which becomes distracted with bright colours that tonally create an ambiguous illusion.
My final piece was a depiction of a Mexican street filled with motifs of my experience in Mexico. My main aim was to capture the intensity of colour within the composition. I was also still using the language of abstracting form through complimentary colours, mainly blue and orange.
The area I was expected to work in was not a studio but a rather open planned office building therefore the circumstances to painter under was a little strange and intimidating. I felt very exposed and with the added pressure of only having three days to make the piece it was definitely a challenge. However in spite of this I felt it was an important and valuable lesson/ experience for developing my artistic practice as it took a lot of discipline and hard work in a very short space of time.
Since people were constantly walking in and out it made me feel very exposed and as if I was on display, I soon realised very quickly that I was the exhibit for the Welsh Government, not just the painting. However this was an important experience as it forced me to be confident about my work and justify it in a concise way. It also allowed me to meet a lot of interesting people who expressed an interest in what I was doing. I also met a lot of good artists which is always a benefit.
since having had the experience of traveling through my university to places like Morocco, Venice, Barcelona and most recently of all Guadalajara in Mexico it became very clear to me very quickly that colour behaves differently in bright sunlight. The closer you get to the equator the more radical and bright colours appear to our perception. From my experience it is as if colours vibrate more within equatorial sunlight. These experiences made me realise that Cezanne’s use of colour may not be as radical as it was first perceived, colour actually appeared to him in this way.
During my time in Guadalajara I created a painting in reaction to my experience of Mexican culture and the vibrancy of colour. I was an artist in residency in the ‘Mind’ building next to the FIL book fair. I was a living exhibition set up by the Welsh Government, and I was tasked with making a painting to gift to the Government of Jalisco on behalf of the Welsh Government to cement cultural relationships between the two places.
I valued this experience because the city of Guadalajara is so vibrant and colourful that I couldn’t help but get inspired, the light, the behaviour of colour in the light and the motifs that I saw everywhere have provided a continuous source of inspiration for my practice.
I enjoyed making these pieces using oilbars on board. I felt there was something very primitive about the medium and the way in which I applied it. Again staying with the motifs of the human form taken from the collages, however I wanted these miniatures to be a little more ambiguous. Trying to resemble something more raw, trying to show an experience through the suggestion of primordial perception whilst focusing on colour.