As a contemporary artist you are rarely immune to the impact of current events. The challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to reflect those events in your work, and make comment on them.
A perennial interest that had guided my work over the last five years has been the interaction between place and identity. My paintings concerned themes of human relationships and environment. The quiet polemic undertone of some of these pieces was comprehensible in some, yet many I felt were dangerously close to becoming visual wallpaper. I realised that I did not feel a sufficient connection to, and understanding of, the changes affecting the places and peoples of my home country, to make work that felt meaningful.
Art is, for me, both the expression of the artist’s experiences (as van Gogh put it, ‘Nature viewed through a temperament’), and the genuine attempt to communicate them. Drawing is the way I engage with my external world and make sense of it. Once I stopped drawing every day, I realised it was time for change.
So I decided to embark on a personal project that connected me more closely with my homeland and my heritage, and use the state of the nation as a productive force in my work. With enough paints and boards packed up in my car to last 3 months, I still don’t quite know how long this will take. But I just couldn’t wait for the spring to begin this adventure.
My hope is to find out how the spirit and dignity of this land has been shaped by social and economic change, past and present. I may be powerless to change the world, but I would like to think I can ask my own difficult questions of it along the way.