On my return from a tour of the Comoro Islands, off the East Coast of Africa in 1990, I was admitted to the Infectious Diseases Unit at Newcastle General Hospital where I was diagnosed as having a; streptococcus septicaemia, type A, bacteria. Due to the nature of the illness I was declared a case study and a major cause for concern. The infection was rare and one which almost claimed my life.
I survived without discovering the true origin and culture of the bacteria.
I thought that the only testament to this epic moment in my life were three very large scars on my left arm, until I recently acquired my hospital records. However, on reflection, this experience has been a key source for my artistic endeavour ever since.
Over the years this experience has in some way enabled me to develop a method of practice by processing the use of industrial paint and solvents along with the more traditional elements associated with oil painting media. A practice, which has in time evolved into a language of its own.
I work on up to 8-10 paintings at any one time, all of which are prepared on a stretcher of, canvas, wood and board. Each of these are then laid flat on the floor. The 4 sides of each stretcher is sealed using glue and board, (which are removed when complete), and look like flat shallow baths. This allows me to pour my mix of paint and solvents into it and onto its surface. When complete, some series of works are robust and tactile. Other series in contrast, appear almost three dimensional because of their rich luminous quality, and become transformed under both natural and artificial light. It’s a passion which has allowed me a chance to explore the paradox of using industrial processes, which often involves using toxic and combustible materials, to achieve something alive and organic.
As well as presenting fresh challenges and opportunities for my work in general, my aim is always to provide the audience with a fresh and innovative approach to painting and art practice generally.