My work is rooted in the exploration of realism and my interest in rendering the human figure with a likeness to nature. Heavily informed by historical representational painting, I merge the melodrama of the Italian Baroque with the Pre-Raphaelite’s sense of ethereality to create compositions that blur the line between reality and a dreamlike state. Looking within and to other artists, writers and poets, I describe the feeling of perpetual anxiety through overwhelmingly busy compositions that see my subjects lost within intricate, layered patterns. Specifically I am attempting to describe a dissociate disorder called derealisation that I experienced, in which one feels detached from the world and their body, a strange phenomenon that feels like you are dreaming while fully conscious. I have been using poetry as a vessel to inform my work, as it is often a source of rich visual imagery, and has been responded to in the past by the Pre-Raphaelites that I look to for inspiration.
I am actively engaging in a return to the past in terms of aesthetics and ideals within art making and what art should be defined as. Appropriating William Morris designs led me to a direct comparison between his rejection of the newly industrialised world and the digital age we are living in, which is a significant contributor to society's collective anxiety. I have been thinking more deeply about why my work is deeply rooted in historical aesthetics and why I am returning to the past in my practice, and have come to the realisation that returning to traditional techniques in fine art painting, but also this idea of honing a skill or a craft is a form of escapism, or a means of exercising control, which is ultimately something one lacks when anxiety takes over.
Unit 3 Proposal
For the Unit 3 Exhibition I am going to be showing my paintings Deep Chaos Within and my current work in progress. I would like to see them hung at a great distance from each other so that they may be recognised individually as their own separate developments that stemmed from the same idea. I'd be interested to see them at opposite ends of a large room so that they have space from each other so that they maintain a strong presence individually but still maintain a dialogue. I plan on hand writing my poem Liminal Entity that will be posted on the wall 3 feet from the painting. I considered a QR code with a link to the poem, but think I would rather have the poem visible beside the painting.
The paintings will need to be hung high on the wall from two nails at either upper corner. A ladder will be required to install.
For the research festival I plan on producing a publication of the culmination of different poems I've written, quotes from people in my life, interviews and paintings I've made with regard to the topic of contemporary anxiety. I'm interested in writing poems in response to other artist's paintings, and how those pairings may change their reception. I'd imagine this as a small booklet.