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December 21, 2017



A significant portion of my artistic endeavour is focused on portraiture from the mind’s eye. Drawings, prints and sculptures arrived at through an intuitive process, looking at human identity both in a contemporary and  a historical context. It’s a work led initiative, in which I try to understand my creative output through the thoughts and reflections it provokes.


Identity poses some deeply philosophical questions which I feel can be touched upon through art. In my exploration of identity, I’ve been struck by the complexity of being, particularly the infinitely layered and multi-dimensional state that we bring into each “moment”. Yet we just have to take this state for granted as we saunter through life, but as an artist trying to capture “moments” through imagery one starts to awaken to the complexity of it. And I’ve grown to realise that there is no single answer or solution to an expression yet I must make and record my gestures. One solution I’ve found has been to rework the same images in order to re-tell the same story in a different shade. I’ve also played with repeating and overlaying images suggesting the arrival in the moment, work which made me realise the impossibility of the moment in the continuum of time.


Having established the complexity of “being” through my imagery, I’ve been able to look at the act of existing with a greater sense of freedom. To explore soulful intuition, the rational and logical approach and also to explore with a greater breadth of emotion, from the “happy happy” to the darn right “angry angry” and all that lies between. I can tell you that it hasn’t been an easy process, involving a confrontation of my limitations in an attempt to free myself from the conditioning society has imposed on me. At times I’ve felt truly deconstructed and bereft of my own identity, utterly lost as I’ve searched deeply within myself.


Through the story of my own artistic evolution, memory has been an essential element in my study of identity because it forms the building blocks of who I am. From a young age we are almost expected to have a favourite colour and from here we start to become restricted by identifying traits that we will remember, (I personally believe that it’s not possible to have a favourite colour). However memory is selective and can often imprison us through the blind following of past precedence and our desire for security and stability. In my pursuit of creativity I feel held back by memory as I look to create something new without an attachment to the past, which is why I strive for new ways to approach creativity without baggage. In this sense I often feel washed of my sensibility as I approach a new piece of work as a new beginning.


I sense that identity is becoming a big issue in the liberal western societies as people awaken to new freedoms and possibilities. People now openly identify with a greater number of gender and sexually based possibilities, the latest I’ve heard about is digisexual amongst the many others. There are other issues too concerning religion and spirituality, as humanity continues to try and understand its reason for existence. So who and what are we in these times of choice, do we need to be specific or can we change and identify with a more fluid identity, to reflect the times. Can we at last just relax into the knowledge that we need not be governed by dogmatic absolutes and just enjoy awakened life. Life without hierarchy and false constructs through which we judge and jostle for position, in a place called utopia.


Another example of the shifting identity and identification in individuals can be seen through patriotism, where citizens are encouraged to stand behind a flag just because they’re born in a country, when from another perspective they are really just citizens of the world. Born onto a planet into a brief moment of freedom before being divided by constructed borders over which we fight and defend as a matter of honour. Noble savages fighting to maintain their own states of imprisonment to dogmatic doctrines. Ideologies, religions and doctrines forming a political theatre of conflict in the global hierarchy.


Yes indeed, identity is a huge topic and with each new element one considers the more it grows. For instance gender is becoming increasingly relevant and critical as we reflect upon the hierarchical societies built upon patriarchy, not only because of the global consequences but also because of the implications to the individual. In fact the way we see is entirely influenced by the dogmatic systems we have enforced and had enforced upon ourselves. To this extent we are both prisoners to the system and prisoners to ourselves.


Over the past ten years or so the social media has had a huge impact on society and with it the concept of the selfie in which we turn the camera upon ourselves as we project our identity into the virtual world. This act in itself draws parallels with the artists struggle for identity which can be seen in the self portraits of seemingly self obsessed artists. And in this respect I see the selfie as a liberating tool for people to become more aware of their identity and broaden their range of perception as happens with the artists once they understand themselves a little better.


As an artist I feel compelled to explore my humanity on a deep level and I feel that this project based on identity, is quite relevant to contemporary life. Which is why I’m investing the time and energy into finding a way of sharing it.

Thanks for looking and any comments would be appreciated 🙂

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