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I am a self-taught painter of abstract pictures inspired by music, literature and nature. The purpose of my work is to communicate thoughts and feelings that are difficult to express in words. Abstract painting is especially suited to this challenge, although it can seem very difficult to understand, because, like music and poetry, it has an immediate expressive force capable of bypassing habitual ways of thinking and feeling. Now that abstraction is something familiar to everyone, the task is to create forms that engage the eyes and the mind, rather than being to easy to process or fulfilling a merely decorative role.


I have no fixed style. Each of my paintings is recognizably my own, but it is also an experiment dictated by its particular subject matter. I do not try to conceal the effort that goes into producing them: as the modernists understood, a certain awkwardness is visible in every honest attempt to find an adequate form for something new, difficult, or unfamiliar. As a matter of principle, I avoid working within my own comfort zone. Nevertheless, there is always a quiet lyricism in my work, despite its complexity, and an abiding belief in the unique meaningfulness of sublime and beautiful forms.

 

Human culture is a cumulative process. Learning to understand, to draw upon, and to contribute to this process of evolution has been the goal of many artists, and it is also mine. To that end, my paintings often ‘illustrate’ various historical and contemporary sources of inspiration—usually poems, novels and pieces of music. Because they are abstract, this is not so different from a composer taking a poem and setting it to music to create a song—in both cases, an existing work of art is assimilated into an abstract medium of sound or, in my case, colour. There is no reason why abstract painters can't make use of the same rich treasury of cultural materials that other artists have always drawn upon. When different art-forms interact, they all benefit and become more meaningful.

 

Biography

I grew up in two very different rural environments: in Pembrokeshire, West Wales and on the North Coast of New South Wales, Australia. From the proximity of nature in both places I acquired a taste for wilderness, which is evident in the organic- and landscape-forms of my paintings, as well as their mysteriousness and complexity. I studied philosophy and anthropology in Australia and England, before completing a PhD in comparative literature at the University of Edinburgh in 2020. This formed the basis of my continuing interest in the history of ideas, and my desire to create art that is historically engaged and engaging. I am currently living and working in Oxford, UK.