“Pushing the painting in ways to create ambiguity is something I enjoy. I like when the viewer is not necessarily sure what they are looking at. People have mistaken jackets for mermaids tails, ladders for rollercoasters and chairs for sinks.”
Interview by: Stephen Feather
Your paintings often depict brightly colour domestic interiors and objects. What kind of dialogue do these interiors have with the environment they are shown in?
The dialogue with the work and the space around it continually changes. Whether it be the work in the studio having a messier feel or being placed in an interior type gallery it could hold a homely relatable feel or if it is placed in a traditional white cube space it gives it a ‘finished’ feeling.
Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your background? Where did you study?
I grew up in the Medway Towns in Kent and studied on my foundation course around that area at UCA in Rochester. I’m now based in London and in the final year of my BA at the Slade School of Fine Art.
Your work often features complex arrangements of objects, patterns, shapes and colours. How do you construct your compositions?
My paintings derive from drawings I’ve made from life. For example, with the Clothes Rail painting I made around 30 drawings before making that painting. These drawings help influence my colour, composition and shapes within many of my works. I enjoy working this way as I usually tend to work on a variation on a theme within the subject matter, this way the drawings help influence more than one painting at a time.
Is there any connection between pattern and abstraction in your work? Are there any specific forms that you are drawn to in making your paintings?
There is definitely a connection with the ideas of still life and merging that with abstraction. Pushing the painting in ways to create ambiguity is something I enjoy. I like when the viewer is not necessarily sure what they are looking at. People have mistaken jackets for mermaids tails, ladders for rollercoasters and chairs for sinks.
You have work featured in the exhibition, ‘Kaleidoscope’ at the Saatchi Gallery in London. Will you be presenting any new works with this show in mind?
The work in the show is not all new work. The eight pieces in it are paintings that the gallery have collected from me from 2017, so it is more their curation of what paintings go together than mine. The most recent painting is The Window Sill made in December 2018
What artwork have you seen recently that has resonated with you?
The Bonnard show at the Tate completely knocked me dead. He’s been a love of mine since I was young. There was so many paintings in that which resonated with me but one that really stands out is the piece with the woman standing next to the bath with a pile of clothes next to her. The pile of clothes does exactly what I was talking about before-that pushing the barriers between still life and an abstract image.
Tell us a bit about how you spend your day / studio routine? What is your studio like?
I usually get into my studio quite early and work to the late afternoon. I then tend to spend a lot of my evening drawing back at my flat, as I draw from life I usually draw more here than at my studio. Right now, my studio is based at Slade, but as I graduate very soon I have a studio to move into in Woolwich next month. I like to be surrounded by objects, drawings, plants, images and postcards that inspire me to help make my work.
Is there anything new and exciting in the pipeline you would like to tell us about?
I have a residency in LA lined up in September which I’m really excited about. It’s called the LA Brea Residency. I’ve never been there before so I’m excited to see how a change of environment impacts my work.
All images courtsey of the artist and Saatchi Gallery
Publication date 02/04/2019