Artist Statement: “I like working with the velvety blackness of charcoal, I like the process of drawing and the escape it offers from a world of uncertainty and anxiety. I am interested in the abstract texture of plants, Victorian memento mori, catholic icons, the illusion of youth and beauty, the creation of masks and make-up, popular culture aimed primarily at women, the gaze, hair and reliquary
Countershading is all about blending in. The little genetic traits that have taken millions of years to manifest, tailoring plants and animals to their endemic regions. The images I used for these works, of Miami Zoo animals sheltering from Hurricane Andrew in public lavatories are both humorous and menacing.
On the surface level the flamingos and storks huddling over sinks and toilet cisterns seems to be posed. Evocative of their incarnations as wallpapers, lawn ornaments, and greeting cards heralding a happy event. But like the twee Americana that list evokes, they are complex and sinister when not viewed with the innocent optimism indicative of the middle classes in the middle of the century. In the wake of ever stronger hurricanes, habitat destruction, and indifferent globalisation these birds of paradise adopt the role of Dickens’ final ghost.
This series titled Liquid Light;
Represent figures underwater interacting with light, liquid and colour. Strong shapes of colour flatten contours and break up outlines, so figures either disappear or look to be something other than what they are. Countershading, in this series, is explored through the immersed bodies who are refracted, distorted, liquified and abstracted in water. The broken shapes become one with their environment, creating illusions and distorting the limbs into anamorphic shapes. The immersion under water is sensual and tactile and transports the viewer to the moment of being underwater, escaping to a place where different environmental rules apply.