Focus on: Tidal

oil on canvas – 100cm x 100cm

In April I did a ten-day residency in Manaccan, a very beautiful village in the south Cornwall coast. It was a very inspiring time and one I won’t forget. I will be exhibiting some of these works at my solo show What the Water Gave Me, this month at ONCA gallery.

I loved my time on the residency, and the chance to completely immerse myself in my work. But when I first got there, I found that I had a mental block, and the painting wasn’t coming naturally. After a couple of days, I went to the Tate St. Ives and I saw a painting by Peter Lanyon that I fell in love with. That unlocked something in me; I went back and produced a whole body of work.

I didn’t spend my whole time in the studio, of course. I went for long walks along the coast, usually in the rain, and took photographs and created quick paintings in my sketchbook. These images act as a starting point for some of my paintings, triggering off a response, and influencing the colours and perspective.

While I have been influenced by abstrat artists, like Sam Lock and Mark Rothco, I’d say my work is somewhere between figurative and abstract. It isn’t always clear what my paintings are about, and I like that. I want people to have their own response and experience to each painting. I guess they’re also about me; all my emotions, memories and experiences come out onto the canvas when I paint.

I painted Tidal in one go, in a couple of hours. I had a lot of pent-up energy, which I needed to get out of me. It’s very much a spontaneous painting. However, other paintings can take a lot longer to form. I can spend months on a painting and they become built up with lots of layers. These paintings have a very different feeling.

One of my most useful tools is a ladder! Since I came back, I’ve had a whole studio to myself, which I have loved. I have produced a lot of large-scale work and I hope people will become completely absorbed in the paintings. I want my paintings to have an impact on people in the same way the landscape can.

As told to Alex Leith

What The Water Gave Me – ONCA Gallery 10-17th November

Publisher & Date: Viva Brighton Issue 81 – November2019
Visit Viva Brighton edition – Page 61