Painting is for me an excavation through layers of paint, tissue, collage, pastel and thick clear gesso. I am creating surfaces, setting down grounds, which later become 'place'. Slowly I create a painting made in the passage of time, which I may scratch into, peel or allow to influence the layer above it. Painting a landscape is also for me an excavation through time, geological time as well as man-made industrial time.
With this most recent body of work I have immersed myself in the Cornish landscape where there are legacies of a tin mining industry scattered across the land. Facing Botallack Head, Pendeen with my sketchbook I take detailed visual information and 'felt experience' back to my studio.
This is a landscape that offers an external wildness yet also harbours the inner landscape of mans journey for survival in the form of miles of mine workings under the surface, with human flesh pitted against thousand of years of impervious rock. However for me, these visual legacies also serve as a metaphor for all of our human struggles, both externally and internally. Our internal, emotional, psychological journeys can be just as harrowing as the miners search for precious metals. These thoughts help me to connect deeply to my subject matter as I paint outside or in my studio, and help me to find a relevance to my life in the present day.