My contact with the world – as I walk through it, as I pick up and hold a stone, as I run my eye across the horizon line or around the complex shape of a tree branch – is recorded and interpreted through drawing and through making. It is through touch that I explore and understand the world.
Everything is in a continual state of flux. Even if the subject matter itself is not perceptibly moving, growing or decaying, our perception of it is inconstant and inconsistent. The focus of my work is how to bridge this gap between what is there, what is experienced and what is drawn. The work becomes a record of looking and an attempt to pin down the elusiveness of the contour that separates volume and space and the distance of things from the eye. There is always an element of discovery – looking from different perspectives; seeing the familiar in unfamiliar ways.
Some of my work evolves through a repetitive process (like that of plant growth), resulting in large drawings or installation works. This labour-intensive process requires a focus that becomes a state of being. It is a form of meditation and results in work with its own rhythm and life.
The more intimate-scale drawings with precise use of continuous line are recordings of my eyes’ unbroken contact with an edge. This acute observational work is a different process. I see it as finding a clear route through a complex experience by focusing on one single strand that makes up the whole. I select objects that are trodden underfoot, giving space and attention to those things that can be completely disregarded. The line made by etching, drawing with a sharp pencil or inscribing into gesso can give an incredibly fine edge as well as the physicality of an incised boundary.
Descartes talked about the eyes as tools for feeling the tactile textures of the world and for me drawing is about ‘touching with the eyes.’ The physicality of the produced mark as well as the idea that this mark is a kind of contact between artist and subject is central to my work.