My Practice is about the ongoing relationship I have with the place in which I grew up. Exploring my experience of living in a previously occupied territory, I am interested in the influence that our early environment has upon the formation of identity.
Attending a school built on top of a German gun battery brought the opposing dynamics of ‘childhood innocence’ and ‘the architecture of war’ together within the playground and this conflicting and troubling relationship has been a consistently developed theme throughout my work. As well as attempting to convey or highlight the strangeness, absurdity and contradictions of a place marked by war, the assimilation of these symbols of soldiery back into the natural environment through gradual erosion and decomposition is a poetic metaphor of man-as-aggressor’s failure and defeat.
My audience-interactive works such as Fortress inflatable bunker and MIRUS Delfina provide an opportunity for adults to ‘revert back into a state of play’ by engaging unselfconsciously in children’s games such as ‘warring’, ‘hide and seek’ and ‘building and construction’ to explore the potentiality of play as a political gesture.
My paintings predominantly feature the architectural landscape of Guernsey’s West Coast where I played and explored as a child. Views up the beach from the waters edge at low tide evoke memories of stolen glances away from the innocence of rock pool adventures. Alluding to a dark historical past and a hermitically-sealed present massive blocks of granite - to keep out the sea - and steel-reinforced concrete anti-tank walls - to keep out a no-longer-existent enemy - partially conceal domestic and redundant-military buildings. Generally devoid of human activity, the buildings themselves become anthropomorphic. These buildings, as beholders of secrets, return our gaze.
New Work BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE
Following on from Concrete Jungle and Fortress Sartorial -Inflatable Bunker Audience-Interactive Graffiti Event which focused on the more illicit relationship between young people and derelict buildings, and my ongoing sculpture series Weapons of Mass Destruction which underminds and sexualises weaponry, my new Digital Collages for Between A Rock And A Hard Place similarly uses humour by juxtaposing bunkers with imagery of kitsch ornaments, natural and artificial foliage, and sexualised weaponry.