My work, both past and present, is underpinned by the central themes of absence, isolation, mortality and the spiritual. It is the balance between paint, process and subject matter that has maintained my visual language and its development through what on the surface may seem to have been differing themes. I am grappling with the concept of hæcceity, inscape, thing-ness, essence and the ontological in the way I see a stone, rock-pool or lichen growth. The challenge is then using paint and charcoal to communicate this experience to the viewer as well as incorporating my own refractions of self, identity and awareness of mortality and the spiritual.
Returning to Pembrokeshire regularly presents the dilemma, ‘Which beach to visit?’ It is the catalyst to continue asking questions through paint. It is, ‘the breath’ that my work references again and again. ‘To feel breath, the wind and space. To be human in the primeval wind, to taste the wind, to shiver. To breathe in memory, thought, serenity, time and contemplation.’ When I ask myself once again what is the point of painting? what do my paintings do? I see that the point is quite simply to create a painting which ‘allows thought itself to breathe.’
I see the pool, I see to feel the pool, and the pool feels the pool: the ‘pool-ness’ of a pool. I can paint the pool as it appears to me, I can paint the pool as it feels to me; but can I paint what the pool also feels? It’s this third dimension that I aspire to; this is the spiritual in my work. We might say it is a fundamentally religious experience, a feeling of transcendent joy, revelation, uniqueness and divine. Is my work essentially still religious? I would say yes. I would argue that my work has continued to be driven by my questions about mortality from the mid 1980s to the present.