Artist Statement

I am based in Easter-Ross, Highlands of Scotland, and I work across a wide range of traditional- and digital media.

My work generally involves layering – concealing / revealing, enhancing / building, destroying / supplementing – and a balance of controlled processes, and others that I actively left to chance. It always takes joy in texture, reparative mark making, and expressive line-work.

My current digital abstract work has been directly born from necessity arising from disability. A decade ago, I was diagnosed with a number of rare neurological conditions, including one which puts limits on the amount of time my brain is able to remain in an upright position (low intercranial volume / Intercranial Hypotension). Taking my creative methodologies into a digital format has allowed me to continue working during the frequent intervals in which I am confined to bed (and precluded from being in my studio, working with more traditional media). Sharing this work via Instagram has allowed me to remain connected to other artists and creatives.

When working digitally, I create by using many layers of marks and colour into which windows are selectively created, revealing hidden detail below and creating an intricate mesh of elements. I also often include photographic digital collage material and captured patterns. These additions generally have specific meaning, such as the patterns from sea pottery I have found on local beaches, details captured in rocks or fossils I collect, or textures captured from my walks and adventures.

When working with traditional media, I use a wide range of paints, ink and drawing materials, collage materials, textiles, spray paints and found objects. The greatest joy for me is in the freedom afforded by the endless possibility of inspiration and materials around me. The challenge is to edit that down into something cohesive, harmonious and pleasing.

I have found, over time, that my digital and traditional media work run concurrently with each other – sharing the same inspiration and interests, but also cross-pollinating material and techniques from one to the other… Many of my analogue techniques are more or less replicated in my digital workflow. Photographed details of past paintings might get recycled into layers used in my digital work, ink drawings might be digitised into patterns and used in digital work, marks I have come to rely on when working digitally are multiplied and used to create texture in work on canvas. My whole creative world has become far more interconnected than I ever could have imagined.

I have several key areas of interest: – A love of the nature, and the Scottish Highland landscape. Also, the key themes of history, heritage and material culture, and the passing of time, decay and weathering. In 2012 I exhibited a major body of work –‘Ruin’ – focused specifically on exploring these ideas, and in 2013 I spent time as an Artist in Residence at the Ness of Brodgar archaeological excavations, Orkney, furthering my work in this area and inspiring my current ‘archeological’ strata / layering working processes. Currently, my work is heavily interested in the notion of geologic time, and this lithic world that I encounter when fossil hunting and rockhounding.

I have work in private collections across the UK, Europe the USA, New Zealand and Canada.