Initially my work started as a response to my friends’ life stories. It seemed you only had to ask to uncover the most extraordinary experiences, many from childhood which resonated throughout their lives. Much of my earlier work drew reference from childhood, exploring our relationship with and our fears around child taboos, and the transgression of moral boundaries. From these beginnings I now see my work as an analysis of today’s social, psychological and political issues set within an historical context.
My practice has a strong narrative thrust, drawing in part from a rich fund of imagery found on the internet, I collage these images, creating often complex, conceptually layered pieces. Collage plays an integral role in my practice not only through the juxtaposition of images but through experimental sound editing and the use of projected images within a space to lend an atmosphere and at times creating surprising accidents. These run alongside and feed back into my painting practice.
My recent body of work explores ideas around nostalgia and romanticism. The word nostalgia was coined during the 17th Century, the same time that Claude Lorrain was painting his idealised landscapes. Nostalgia is our notion of happier times – the past improved with age – a hankering after a time that doesn’t exist apart from in our minds, ‘those were the days’. The feeling is bittersweet.