My practice can be seen as the amalgamation of hard-edge geometric abstraction and gestural abstract expressionism.
With an affinity to the phrase Abstract Engineering, which I believe can be used to most accurately describe my practice, I aim to investigate abstraction and its multiple applications as a means of problem solving. This non linear investigation also pertains to exploring the balance of visual refinement and symmetry alongside the obscured and gesturally expressive.
The reoccurring methods used in my practice, which I consider operating as tools, enabling this aspect of problem solving, consist of painting, printing work, and more recently three-dimensional works and installation. All falling more cohesively into the term mixed media.
While consciously recognising that hard edge abstraction as an inherently ‘cold’ or systematic approach to developing work and truth seeking, I deliberately engage in the opposite. This being more gesturally expressive mark making, akin to the work of abstract expressionists engaged with the sub-genre of action painting, in an attempt to generate a balance of both of these opposing systems, providing a more visually coherent outcome in the resolved work.
While the term Abstract Engineering has been generated from within my own artistic practice, this amalgamation follows closely to Michael Tapie’s concept of ‘hot and cold’ abstraction. I believe to alternatively highlight these areas in a less polarising manner, attempting to acknowledge their respective strengths and weaknesses, combining them in order to develop new ideas of how abstraction can be utilised as a process of enquiry.
Having more recently evolved my practice into three dimensional works concerning structural installation and small scale sculpture, I am interested in the inter-relational process within my practice; my current line of enquiry is concerned with the interference of surface, apparatus and materiality, as seen specifically in the work ‘Caution, Tension & Tolerance’.
This development and research can be attributed to my ongoing interest in the ‘Post Vandalism’ movement and the works and practices of artists such as Mike Ballard, Walead Beshty and Lawrence Weiner. More specifically, Weiner’s work titled ‘A 36” x 36” removal to the lathing or support wall or plaster or wall,’ resolved in 1968.
In addition to this, I use materials which primarily have an association to crafts that fall outside of a generic artistic context, examples including hazard tape, packing material and PVC piping for sculpture. I believe this alternative material enquiry to highlight and emphasise the narrative of the work presented, such as the use of ‘fragile’ packing tape in the work ‘Handle With Care’.
Parallels can be made between this enquiry into using materials that usually fall outside of ‘art materials’ to that of Frank Stella using household paint within his work, quoted to deliberately highlight and emphasise his idea of artists as labourers, an idea that I connect with greatly.
My process has often utilised practical techniques such as masking, impression and removal; in my recent work I have started to consider the allegorical meaning of these actions in relation to their wider social/psychological association and how that links back to the process within my own practice.
I find inspiration, narratively speaking, from external factors, such as contemporary discourse, as well as internal thoughts, feelings and experiences and use my practice and the works generated within it not only as a means of problem solving but additionally as a means of personal processing.