In 2017 my wife, ceramicist Kath McDonald, and I made the decision to open, in Lancaster city centre, our own gallery with artist studios, King Street Studios. Over the following years our energies have been focused on delivering exhibitions, workshops and supporting the work of fellow artists; the consequence of which as been a trailing off of the amount of time available for Kath’s and my creative output. The catalyst for the decision had been back in June 2011 when I made the decision to take a space with a local artist studio group. Since then and up to 2017 I had been working productively and built up a body of work, and achieved some success. I was selected into the final show of the ‘Threadneedle Prize’ 2012, where a reproduction of my painting was used on the invitation. I was also longlisted for the ‘Neo Painting exhibition’ and the ‘National Open Art Competition’. Although I have been painting and exhibiting for some years it was joining that newly established art studio that I had the space and time to commit to developing myself professionally and begin to seek a wider audience for my work. Part of the thinking behind opening King Street Studios was to develop a wider audience for ours and other artists work in a gallery space purely dedicated to the presentation of visual art.
Landscape and the scars, marks and tracks created and left by previous generations informs most of my creative output. Hill forts, standing stones, stone circles remnants of the past all provide inspiration for my explorations with pen and paint. Many of these motifs appear in my work, which reflects upon our relationship to time, the land, the universe and each other. The subjects I choose come from a distillation of many experiences and feelings. Being and life don’t follow straight lines, thoughts and feelings are continually pushed, pulled, diverted, fragmented or clumped together. As my thoughts consider new ideas and observations, so painting and drawing for me becomes a process of creating images which evoke a sense of: self; relationship; engagement; humanity; mortality: with most containing a symbolic reference to: human presence; lack of human presence; the material and substance of living; and of time, past, present and in the making. Influences Goya Casper David Friedrich | JM Turner Paul Nash | Graham Sutherland Edward Hopper Petter Doig
Most of my life has been spent living close to the coast and countryside along the North-West Lancashire edge of Morecambe Bay. This part of the country is close to many diverse landscapes, including coastal mud flats and river estuaries, the open moors of the Yorkshire Dales, the mountains and valleys of Cumbria, all of which provide stimulation for my imagination. Most of my life as been living in houses which were separate from the nearest village or town centre with the consequence that going anywhere meant the first part of any journey was always along a road or track through open countryside. Within this setting it was easy to find a sense of isolation and timelessness, themes which often occur in my paintings drawings and print-work.
1998 – 2001 BA (Hon) Performing Arts (2i) University of Cumbria, Lancaster: 2003 – 2005 HND Fine Art (Distinction) Blackpool and Fylde College, Blackpool