ARTIST STATEMENT & BIO
I was born in London and have lived here all my life. My teenage years were the seventies, and I absorbed the music, fashion, and politics of those years. I’m a product of the pub and DIY culture of the late seventies, the ‘rip it up and start again’ ethic, the postwar years of peace and the welfare state, free education and the NHS, but with a strong awareness of my parents experiences of war, poverty and years of rationing and shortages.
My generation has lived through enormous technological changes - for instance, musically: carrying records round to mates houses to listen to, to the rise of recording our own cassette tapes, through CDs to mp3’s and streaming of music - its a rich history.
I’ve been collaging since 1989 when I was a student of Fine Art at Central St Martins. I always liked cutting out and cutting up. As a child my mum made our clothes - I was familiar with and drawn to scissors! After art school I slowly realised that collage was my main technique for art making. I use scissors, scalpel and glue. The ‘analogue’ is important, I want to see the cuts, the textures, the mistakes, the process. Some of my obsession with the textured, tactile, physical thing might be a reaction against the digital world. Over the years I’ve collected an archive of materials: books, magazines, leaflets, tickets, old photographs. “Collage is endlessly interesting and challenging, unexpected things happen. You don’t need to buy anything except sometimes watercolour or cartridge paper, gummed strip and glue, but mostly you use what is already in the world - old books, papers, stuff out of the wastepaper basket - collage is recycling. Its surreal, and its cheap. Collage is like poetry - you can bring all kinds of elements together and the art is to make them speak to each other”.
Over the course of a year (2018-19) I made 201 collaged ‘identitiy cards’. They began as jokey things but quickly abandoned their numbers and designations and became almost little stories from the lives of ‘persons unknown’. These were shown at Scaffold Gallery in Waterloo in September 2019. I enjoy working in series - often working on top of a preexisting image rather than a blank piece of paper.
I’m currently working with cassettes: taking them apart and putting collages inside.