In 1997 in the Australian outback I had the opportunity to spend time with some aborigine artists. This experience re-connected me as an artist with nature. On my return to London I picked up a piece of tree bark, cleaned and painted it. My life as an artist had evolved from geometric abstractionist to painter of objects, a sculptor in colour. From that time on I have painted on natural found objects and geometric forms. I like to make work which is relevant to a place and time. I have organised events, worked and been included in exhibitions in London, UK including the Liverpool Biennale in 2004/6/8, USA, NYC, Austen Texas, Parc Ibirapuera Sao Paolo and Florianopolis Brazil, MAM CHILOE20 ANOS Chile, Uruguay, Italy, Holland, Austria, France, Germany, Spain, Beirut, Australia, Hong Kong and Ghana. In 2014/5 I participated in the 4th Edition Biennalfindelmondo in Mar del Plata Argentina. I have collaborated with poets, musicians, performance artists, playwrights, scientists, mathematicians, social scientists and philosophers. I have also worked in experimental art contexts organising and taking part in events outside the normal gallery situation.
DIVERCITY, Metal shelf, birch bark and texts, 50 x50cm
1. Drawing Utopias: I have made several attempts at defining my
Utopia but always seem to come up against the personal problem of
disliking fixed societies. Even so I recognise that we have to stand up
and fight for the right to imagine our own Utopias and to fight those
with dubious aims who impose themselves on society, so this is my
solution referencing Thomas More, William Blake, the Borg from Star
Trek 1990 and my own thoughts all colour coded for recognition.
2. Dream Economics: “There is no wealth but life”, said John Ruskin.
I first heard this saying nearly 20 years ago and I have never found it
to be at fault. My notion of economics is that I have enough money
for my needs and a bit extra for pleasures. I prefer to go without
than get into debt and believe me as an artist I can live very cheaply
if necessary. But money itself is not the whole of economics.
It is a frame of mind. To value things by monetary value is sad and
a waste of time - “To know the price of everything and the value of
nothing” is a cliche but worth having in mind when much of the
political and economic world is concerned with “price”,
“value for money” “economic benefit”.etc., it’s where rampant
capitalism has got us to. There is no value placed on personal
relationships, society or service. Personal judgement of value is
ridiculed yet when you think about it economic thinking based on
money is so simplistic as to be ridiculous itself. Someone said to me
that financial success was based on hard work - no - then he said that
people who acquired great wealth were more intelligent
- no - the point is that they want to acquire great wealth and it becomes
their aim in life and to me that is tragic. Concerning my art work I try
to keep money out of it. My materials are not expensive because I use
what is to hand. I don’t seem to have acquired the knack of getting
funding so I get by. I like it if someone buys a work but that is a
wonderful surprise. I have friends who value selling work more highly
than myself and some musicians only work for money.
That’s fine but for me my art work is my way of life, not a career and
whilst I am lucky now to continue my life without a paying job it has
not always been that way so I do understand money has to be acquired
somehow. I suppose what I am saying is that at last I can pursue
my art work without payment and I value that.
So I come back to the distinction between money and value:
THERE IS NO WEALTH BUT LIFE