‘But fairy-stories offer also, in a peculiar degree or mode, these things; Fantasy, Recovery, Escape, Consolation, all things of which children have, as a rule, less need than older people’ – Tolkien
I am a contemporary figurative painter and my current work focuses on Fairy Tales. Through my paintings, I am exploring Fairy Tales in a modern context and how women are portrayed within them. The fascination with storytelling shows no signs of abating. Folk tales and Fairy Tales could be said to be a part of collective unconscious and therefore have a universally binding nature. As our society changes in regards to feminism, with campaigns like ‘#heforshe’ and ‘#timesup’ it should also follow that Fairy Tales in popular culture and Art begin to reflect that. Figurative painting goes beyond the two dimensional depiction of modern Fairy Tales.
Many of my images are based on self portraiture as an opportunity to examine figure. This started through a lack of available subjects to paint, but has led to an increased self awareness and acceptance. My latest works have been extremely personal, focusing on my own emotional journey over the past year, through family breakup and the subsequent stresses- culminating in my latest piece ‘Rebirth’. This was describing my re-emergence from a period of turmoil but creates a scene that is open to interpretation as its own story.
I draw from the natural environment surrounding my home in rural Hampshire, being situated in the Meon Valley has had a subliminal influence on my work, through walks in the woodlands and open fields of this place. Recent works have also examined the ‘Edgeland’ and how ‘natural magic’ may now inhabit these spaces as rural areas are encroached upon and become more urbanised. Patches of meadow or forest next to railways or roadsides could create a new kind of fantastical land. Women and nature are intrinsically linked within folklore and this is something I wish to keep exploring with my research and painting practice. I aim to generate new scenes of Fairy Tale by collecting landscapes and figures and combining them using surrealism.
Currently, I am largely using traditional methods of painting and drawing to create and explore: Oil Painting, Watercolour, Charcoal and Graphite. My process of painting is methodical and enables me to fully invest in the scenes I create. The resulting images are theatrical and architectural with a stage like quality.
BSc Architecture from the University of Bath
MA Painting from Wimbledon College of Arts (UAL)
2018 Lewisham Arthouse, '62 Hands- Interim Show', London, UK