My work is concerned with the formal language of abstraction; remote yet evocative abstract spaces that create a space for one’s own thoughts, responses and imaginings. There is no attempt at representation or figuration—the work is minimal, direct, spare.
Juxtaposing flat colour fields with different surface textures and exploring their response to each other, the work is intentionally pared to a minimum while still maintaining a poetry. Despite a restraint in the ritualistic and ordered process of mark making, there is always present the sensual physicality of pastel and paint. An element of duality, of contrast and division, tension and balance, are themes that recur in my work.
In these works on paper, the charcoal, paint, chalk and oil pastels are applied in layers, drawn, then scraped and scratched with a palette knife, dragged, brushed and wiped with sponge, brush or finger, marks erased and reinstated, all the time building up textures that offer a variety of contrasts whether in colour, tone or surface quality. Evidence of the journey before arriving at the finished ‘image’ is an important part of the completed work—such as the expunged vestiges of colour and mark, the fugitive traces of colour and pastel around the picture’s edge.
Linseed oil, white spirit, graphite and beeswax are frequently added in the making, all of which offer contrasting qualities – a smooth sheen butted up against the dry chalk, a soft glaze of beeswax or the nuanced addition of graphite.