USE YOUR IMAGINATION

First Edition Hardback Copy Of Nothing, 2021

When I was much younger, ‘Use your imagination’ was something that my mum would say to me, sarcastically, when she thought I’d asked a question I could have worked out for myself.

In 2021, I experimented with a series of paintings called ‘Drawn Curtains’ and some photoshopped work I called ‘Studies in identity and opinion’. Understanding my motives for creating these two significantly different creative processes and aeththetic outcomes has been on my mind for a while and these works begin to explore this.

The completely blank pages of the ‘First Edition Hardback Copy Of Nothing’ and the subsequent ‘Second Limited Edition Paperback Copies of Nothing’ invite the viewer to use their imagination and think for themselves.

Sound but no noise

My overt branded works appear to be an almost aggressive and open mockery of the noise of daily life. I’m trying to simplify the cultural, corporate and communications landscape and bend it to my own will, perhaps in protest to the status quo, but unwilling to abandon a branded visual language that I have grown up with, come to love and has been a significant part of my design career.

As a counter to this branded aspect of my work, the imaginative and almost child like wonder of my works in the ‘Drawn Curtains’ series is a defensive action; withdrawing inwardly to hide away from the landscape as described in the above paragraph.

It was my intention to start to combine the different visual outcomes of both aspects of my works and see where it took me. Below you can see a snapshot of how I used phone and computer software to influence the process.

‘Use your imagination’ challenges society to think beyond our daily onslaught of messaging, but also acts as a reminder to me. As such I’ve decide not to allow my notable lack of experience, education or notoriety, in the art world, to limit the places I can show my work. Check out my ‘Drawn Curtains-World Tour’ for more ambitious examples of this, but also see below my first exhibition at the Nurnberg Kunsthalle.

Where does this go???

…a few starters…to be continued:

STUDIES IN IDENTITY AND OPINION

This Summer my life was unquestionably lifted at the return of my partner from an 18 month spell living in Italy…Unfortunately as with all good things, this welcome return came with its down sides. The “Back Room” I’d converted into a painting atelier…was now to become a guest/music/tv room/study…I was out of arguments.

Anyway, with nowhere convenient to paint for the foreseeable future I turned to smaller less messy ways to convey my thoughts and direct my creative impulses. I’m a long time student of adobe illustrator and photoshop and so these became my new tools as I intuitively set a path without any perceived destination.

The results below are, in part, a shameless self branding exercise but have also become a conduit for my grumpy social commentary. I am tired of the noise of daily life, the opinions, messages and questions I feel invade my conscious and subconscious thought. Ironically, addressing this issue, simply adds another fucking voice to the cacophony!

However, having accepted the irony, I’ve clumsily taken to censoring daily life without moral or political distinction and primarily for the purposes of self gratification through aesthetic endeavor.

I’ve decided to further these studies either as a means to confront, what might be, my sensitive over reaction to modern life… or…to ignite a campaign to drown out the noise of almost everything…on scale! Let’s see…

Branding Calm

EDEL EXTRA 2021

EDEL EXTRA SEPTEMBER 2021

This was my second exhibition at the Edel Extra gallery and creative space in Gostenhof, Nurnberg.

Below are photos from the opening evening:

WORLD TOUR 2021 (Drawn Curtains)

In an effort to promote my latest series of paintings I took to the road and with the help of my partners Instagram and adobe, undertook a seven day ‘World Tour’.

Imagination drives much of my work so I felt it could also help promote it and in a sense, manifest as a body of work in itself.

MAY YOU LIVE IN INTERESTING TIMES.

This ongoing series of paintings focuses on small unremarkable moments of creativity that I want to acknowledge. They are collaborations, of sorts, between myself and the moment…and the, unwitting creators.

‘PIKE X Joe of London’ is a collaborative work conceived on Temple Street, London E2, sometime between 2006-2019. Somewhere in that time period I gained a notable affection for a painted gesture scrawled on the pavement, that appeared to reveal the name of its creator. It read ‘JOE’ in white gloss paint.

Whenever I walked past this painted gesture, I imagined a young Joe, waiting for the decorators of the adjacent flats to disappear inside, leaving behind a pot of white paint. Seizing his chance to literally make a name for himself, Joe took the medium on offer and poured and scrawled his name for all to see (at least on Temple Street) and in no time at all…he was gone.

It was this act of creative endeavor that appealed to me and in 2019 I decided to commemorate this moment.

Months after taking the necessary photographic documentation to create the work, I returned to Temple street to find the pavement had been repaved and Joe’s original work removed in the process.

‘PIKE X Employee 00272914’ is a collaborative work between myself as a painter and myself as a creative, employed in a large organization.

Towards the end of a particularly platitudinous meeting, Employee 00272914 found that he had spent most of the time testing out marker pens on post it notes. I selected one of these notes to adorn the front cover of his note book, in so doing, creating our first collaborative venture.

Both works are acrylic on raw canvas with photographic print collage.

DRAWN CURTAINS

As I paint abstract marks, I often see figurative stories within many of them and quite often laugh out loud as they creep up unexpectedly on me. As the stories and figures appear, I’m reminded of the times when my imagination would conjure up faces in the decoratively patterned curtains of my childhood.

Using basic Rorschach-esque techniques, I have started to invent new suggestive patterns to discover what I conjure up now and what’s lying dormant in my mind as an adult.

The paintings flirt somewhere between the abstract and the figurative, however, it is the playful imagination at work in my head, that I want to promote. For this reason the paintings are completed once I have titled them, giving the viewer a brief indication of how the paintings and I interacted as they manifest from a chance process, into finished works.

ACHTUNG! WET PAINT

This was my first solo show at the Edel Extra gallery in Gostenhof, Nurnberg, where It ran for 5 days in March 2020. The exhibition showcased selected works from my first year of painting.

Before I had a dedicated room in our flat for painting, I wrote ‘ACHTUNG! WET PAINT’ on a small piece of paper to warn my partner of the drying canvases lying around the flat…it seamed like an apt title for the show.

‘WRONG’!

Latest ‘Wrong’ painting with a slight technique update inspired by the mark up tool on the iPhone.

My first years paintings were fun explorations into expressive mark making and I had enjoyed the creative release that my intuitive and seemingly random processes offered. However it was all very instinctive and offered less in the way of a mental challenge. So, as a considerable Overthinker, I started to question what was the point of it all…was it all ‘Wrong’?. As visual affirmation, denoting just how ‘Wrong’ I thought a couple of my paintings were, I scribbled frenetically all over them and surprisingly, I quite liked it.

The premise behind this series of ‘Wrong’ paintings is to encourage the exploration of new ideas and brave expression, whilst offering a security that failure has a place in my work. The scribbled, signature strokes that sit on the surface of the canvases now denote; the endeavor, bravery and enthusiasm for progression, that lie beneath the surface.

“Am I Wrong” is a question I ask myself, whilst managing my own feelings triggered by notions of failure and expectation. With these ‘Wrong’ paintings, I can safely explore my own expectations and recategorize ‘failed’ work as welcome additions to this series.