I attended Chelsea School of Art, alongside Mariko Mori and Chris Ofili. There I began my fascination with the raw, violent, muddy nature of what I saw and I sought means of showing its beauty. I wanted to make beautiful things, and as YBA established itself, I would have to wait. So, I worked for Gilbert & George for some years. Their eloquent but uncompromising vision politely registered as absolute, twisted sense to me.
As I continued working for Jay Jopling & Charles Saatchi, I moved to rural Essex and began painting again, settling on a pastoral theme, toying with a romantic, folk aesthetic and made a series of paintings “English Electric”. These paintings sought to gently deconstruct the English landscape and our relationship with it. I sought to uncover the sublime, brooding earth and playfully reconstruct it on canvas. These works sold immediately and widely and are held privately in the United Kingdom, United States and New Zealand.
10 years were subsequently foolishly spent in business in London and Cambridge, two spent travelling in Italy, finally returning to the studio in 2013 completing “How to Be a Girl”, a series that introduced the recurring themes that I pursue now. I quickly became a finalist in the Young Masters’ Art prize and sold work throughout Europe and the United States.
As an artist for whom authenticity, expression and the visceral reality of human form and thought are paramount, the overwhelming impact of say, Bernini’s Rape of Proserpina is undeniable. Its rage, sensuality and above all, overwhelming sense of flesh are at once terrifying and beguiling.
Although the arc of my work now rests on flowers, not as previously the human form, I find that I am seeking the same things, only from a somewhat different direction. It is still flesh, soul and violence. They are all still portraits.
Young Masters’s Art Prize, London, UK, 2016
Cynthia Corbett Gallery, London, UK, 2015
Young Masters Art Prize, London, UK, 2014
Kunsthaus, London, UK, 2014
Paddle8, London, UK, 2014
Changing Spaces, Cambridge, UK, 2013
Fresh Art, London, UK, 2001
Saatchi at Underwood Street, London, UK, 2001
Otago University, Dunedin, New Zealand, 2001
My inspiration sits between Bernini, Saville and Sargent, all the way to de Kooning and Twombly. Although this may seem an unusual mix, for me the depth and exquisite application of the former and the freedom of the latter, both speak of the ability to express the complexities of humanity in a single gesture.
All of their work I find intensely physical. They describe flesh, sex, pain, even death. Certainly, they all evoke a search for something greater. Spirituality and the erotic are often indistinguishable from each other, they both describe yearning, are both transcendent acts of wishfulness, and both require the imagination to make them function in any meaningful way.