Self portrait series 1994
Oil no board
61 x 44cm (x8)
I initially studied literature, going on to train and work as Assistant Curator at the Norwich Gallery for four years at the time of the establishment of the 'East' international exhibition. I founded and steered the development of the Warehouse Artists Studios in Norwich, where I was based from 1990 to 1997. During this period I was closely involved with the artist-run studio movement, and worked with the National Artists Association to launch a Code of Practice for the Visual Arts.
I took part in the site specific exhibition, Wholesale, in 1996, for which I filled the walls of a former cold store from floor to ceiling with a decorative cycle of eighteen paintings of massed fruit and vegetable produce. In this work a theme emerged which is still present in my painting: the function and pleasures of display in daily life are repeated and played off against the context and aesthetics of painting.
In 1997 I moved to Barcelona, studying on the Winchester School of Art MA European Fine Art. During this period I produced a series of large, figurative paintings exploring the relationships of families and children, which, following my graduation in 1998, were exhibited in a solo exhibition at the Galerie Daniel Wahrenberger in Zurich, Switzerland. In Barcelona I also made a series about Castellers, the popular Catalan custom of creating human towers as a street display. The Castellers were exhibited as a solo exhibition at the Galeria Groc in Barcelona and toured in Catalonia. Drawings from the series were selected for the Cheltenham Open Drawing competition.
After returning to the UK in 1999, I showed alongside Colin Self and John Kiki in the exhibition, Seven Painters and One Self at the Dockroom, London in 2001.Establishing myself in London, I became interested in the characteristics of the urban space around me as subject matter for my work. I began using my own photographs of people's daily lives in the city as a source. This series of work was shown in a solo exhibition touring in Spain in 2007.
I have also built up a series of paintings of homes in London called "A Place to Live". There are now over sixty paintings in the series, inspired by images in newspaper property adverts. Six of these paintings were selected by Time Out art critic Ossian Ward for The Discerning Eye 2011 in which I was awarded the London and South East Regional Prize. I was invited by artist Eileen Hogan to show further pictures from the series in The Discerning Eye 2013 and further pictures from the series were selected for the 2014 Discerning Eye. In 2017 a group of the PLace to Live paintings were exhibited in the XIV Encounter of Artists, Fondacion Amelia Moreno, Quintenar del Orden, Spain.
In 2014, I curated the exhibition IN THE CITY at The Lion and Lamb gallery in London, including work by myself, Mark Crofton Bell, Stephen Carter, Aida Rubio Gonzalez, Marguerite Horner, Matthew Krishanu, Lee Maelzer, Jock McFadyen and Tanmoy Samanta. An expanded version of the exhibtion will be touring to the EAST Gallery at Norwich University of the Arts in summer 2018.
In 2015, I received a commission from Townshend Landscape Architects for a triptych painting of Granary Square, the centrepiece of the King's Cross development in London. This generated a series of studies and related paintings.
In 2016 I began a collaboration with social anthropologist, Dr. Susanne Wessendorf, who invited me to make paintings depicting the lives of recent migrants to East London, who are the subject of her research project, Pathways of Settlement.
For many years I have been interested in street market stalls and shops in London as a subject for painting. I have since made paintings of markets dfuring travels in other European countries, Latin America and India> This is an ongoing series of work, which was exhibited as a solo exhibition, The Market Paintings, at the Menier Gallery, London in 2016.