Two things that have been with me through my entire life are my desire to create, and the issues inside my head. I was always a dreamy child never all that bothered with anything academic. I wanted to draw the things that were inside my mind. My teachers despaired at my poor handwriting and one in particular suggested that I moderate my fascination with Science Fiction.
I found this hilarious because Science Fiction, horror and fantasy were massively important to me. Why would I reduce the amount of something that gave my life meaning? I also struggled with my art tutor who didn’t understand me at all, and couldn’t see why I didn’t want to sit there and draw potted plants or a pile of old junk.
“Art isn’t there just to entertain, just to fill a space on the wall. It has to provoke, it has to question, it has to stimulate debate.”
It was during a family trip to the Tate Gallery that I discovered Surrealism . This was a kind of art that really spoke to me. In particular The Sleeping Venus by Paul Delvaux, with it’s strange figures and skeleton. In my teens I discovered Sci Fi illustrators that further inspired me such as Bruce Pennington and Chris Achilleos.
Then came the movie Alien with the Artworks of Biomechanical Swiss Artist H R Giger. I had never seen anything quite like his work, it was a revelation. Pop Art also helped me clarify where I wanted to go as an artist. My most inspirational authors are Phillip K Dick and H P Lovecraft. Both had very strange ways of looking at the world we live in. Favorite Sci Fi movies? The Thing, Alien, Escape from New York and Blade Runner.
I studied at Chelsea School of Art and The Byam Shaw School of Art. Again I struggled with my tutors because I couldn’t handle criticism, it would always feel like a personal attack and make me sad and angry. One of my problems is that I take things literally. So when a tutor at Chelsea School of Art gave me a small sketch book and suggested I draw about my various problems and issues, I naturally went into it the whole way.
When she then said that I should do some paintings based on these drawings suddenly it was all too much. I was too honest for them, too real. Later I found ways to channel my imagery into less horrific forms. I was recently diagnosed with Autism and ADHD, I’d spent years seeing therapists, but it was only when I noticed certain common behaviours to my own in my nephew who is Autistic that I had a clue as to my condition. A diagnosis was a long time in coming, but now I know what it is that I am dealing with.
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