Clearing (ii) - made between 2009 and 2015 in charcoal, acrylic and sand and belongs to an on-going group of drawings and paintings with the title 'Clearing'.
After art school (St. Martin's in London . . a long time ago!) I went to live in the middle of the huge forest at Thetford, Norfolk. I love all those conifers and, in 'Clearing' (ii), I am back amongst them. In the painting the scene is one of devastation and there is a brutality about this destruction though the cause. . . nature or man, is uncertain. Also uncertain is whether these trees are, like those at Thetford, part of a plantation. Fading into the background, like an old memory, is a watchtower though this structure seems much bigger than those constructed for controlling just deer.
I like the suggestion of a narrative in a painting . . . but I also like ambiguity. I wouldn't want a definitive interpretation. I want the imagination to be fired. 'Clearing' could refer to an open space within a forest, or to the physical act of clearing away, but also to the possibility of perceiving things more clearly - seeing things anew through changes in understanding . . or memory . . or just the weather.
The 'Clearing' pictures first came about in 2007. I began 'Clearing' (ii) a year or so later, after making a number of charcoal drawings. It too is in charcoal but also acrylic and is the product of lots of re-working. Consequently it has some thick encrusted parts playing off against more fluid areas. I want my paintings to hold some of the changes made during their creation and to work slowly on the viewer . . . gradually offering up more.
2017 'Clearing' - solo exhibition at Upfront, Cumbria
2015 - 2016 The New Light Art Prize, The Bowes Museum - 2015, The Mercer Gallery, Harrogate - 2016, Panter and Hall , London
2015 C-Art Cumbria Artist of the Year and winner of The People's Choice Award, Rheged, Cumbria - 2015.
2014 'Nature . . . and Man', Brantwood, Cumbria