Can you briefly describe what you do?
I make paintings.
What drives you to make work?
The feeling that I haven’t done enough! I’m still a believer in paint and excited by its possibilities.
Can you tell me something of your day-to-day working practices?
I’m in the studio from mid-day till 11.30pm. In one corner of my studio I have a stack of paintings which are finished and have been photographed and the paintings I’m working on or not sure about are lined up along two walls. I spend a lot of time looking at them/not looking at them, working out if they’re even interesting. They tend to have several layers of paint on them, I never scrape anything off, I always keep adding more.
I try to create paintings with no references to the ‘real’ world so I’m not sure they are exactly abstract, more non-objective. I don’t keep a sketch book so all my working out and playing around is done on the canvas. The trick is to not get attached to any of the paintings until they feel right, then I stop. This doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a keeper, it might be kicking around the studio for months and one day I’ll decide it’s crap and add something more to it or obliterate it completely.
How long have you been working in that way?
My studio practice is still evolving but has been similar to this since I graduated from Northumbria University in 2009. I’ve always had a tendency to play around with paint, just to see what happens.
Which artists have had the greatest affect on your work?
Dana Schutz, Richard Aldrich, Joe Bradley, Mary Heilmann, Philip Guston, Georg Baselitz, Martin Kippenberger, Thomas Houseago, Aaron Curry, Chris Martin, Rachel Harrison, Franz West, Blinky Palermo, Vincent Van Gogh, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Edvard Munch, Howard Hodgkin, De Kooning, Gerhard Richter and many more!
What, outside visual art, informs your practice?
Not much outside of art, that’s sort of the point, although I was listening to a Paul Buchanan song called ‘Wedding Party’ recently and was struck by the economy of word. I’ve been trying to figure out a way of translating that into my practice, being more economical, leaving things unsaid, with paint. It might creep in there soon.
How would you like people to engage with your work?
I don’t mind, it’s up to them.
Have you seen anything recently that has made an impression?
Paula Rego’s drawing ‘The Wide Sargasso Sea’ at the Laing in Newcastle is pretty sweet.
Do you have anything exciting on the horizon?
Yes, lots of shows coming up and I am part CAVE art fair at the Liverpool Biennial in September. Plus it’s always exiting to make new work!