Often the main themes in my work are mortality and the transience of human life. The piece “Sleeping Stray” which will be in the show, is part of a series of works that I produced based upon my experiences in Athens. While there, I became interested by the relationship that we have to the great works of man. While I was there in awe of the great architectural and artistic works of the ancient Greeks, I became more intrigued by the passivity and nonchalance of the animals inhabiting these spaces. The casual indifference of these stray dogs, cats and pigeons to the great achievements of mankind became fascinating to me. From this perspective our exaltation of these achievements and our own striving for immortality through our artistic works seemed laughable and futile. The works that stem from this are not entirely cynical, they are made with both a love and reverence of the subject while at the same time drawing attention to the transience of life, our own mortality and relevance or irrelevance of our efforts, questioning if it is all but “vanity and striving after the wind”. (Ecclesiastes 1:14) Much of my work relates to this theme in some respect, with some paintings depicting cemetery scenes, acknowledging mortality while at the same time hopefully not bluntly resulting in the macabre. Personally, art making is something of a paradoxical acknowledgment of mortality and at the same time perhaps a futile attempt at some sort of immortality through the act of creation.
Other paintings are just that, paintings. Sometimes a painting is a personal investigation into paint and representation. Some of my work is purely an exploration of the process of painting and image making, perhaps merely making paintings concerned with painting.
You graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone in 2009 - how have you found the first 5 years from graduation?
My first five years from graduation have been largely great. I have been blessed with many great opportunities at times while at other points I have struggled with the vast learning curve that has to take place in the transition from art student to practicing artist.
Would you have any advice for artists just about to graduate?
Your degree show is not the end, it is the beginning. Don’t rest on your laurels.
You have had a busy year already with many shows and things going on. What new projects have you got coming up?
I will be taking part in the 8 Frames Project, which will be curated by the Outbye in Dundee this August (preliminary date).