Originally trained as a painter, I am drawn to action painting and the spontaneity of Abstract Expressionism, especially that of de Kooning and Pollock. For many years I have been exploring how to get beyond the canvas — what appears as a snapshot of energy — to a format where the energy lives on, evoking mystery and wonder in the viewing experience. I have found that rendering the expressionistic immediacy of brushwork as gestural lines, embedded deep inside optically clear glass, can produce an image that is both tactile and transient; dynamic yet contemplative.
Currently I ‘paint’ with liquid glass. I work consciously with the fluid nature of the material and processes, so that patterns hot sculpted by hand, later stretch, soften and open in the kiln (under the influence of gravity and heat, while casting). In designing and making the final forms, I play with internal reflections so that the composition inside the piece changes from every view. Working in sync with materials in this way — sometimes leading, sometimes stepping back — is what makes this work fresh, energetic and dynamic.
The work provokes curiosity. It displays a simplicity of physical form, but reveals a complex weave of vibrant, transitory images within.
I am a kinaesthetic thinker, I think through movement, so my work is inspired by the way I move through the landscape. Much of my inspiration comes from being physically active and what I see in these moments of extraordinary beauty and of quiet reflection, where nothing is in view apart from rolling hills and expansive skies. These places are mostly in the remote parts of Scotland, at the top of mountains in the Scottish Highlands.... but I've also been inspired by Icelandic glaciers; the narly, volcanic rock of Fuerteventura; rugged cliffs along the west coast of Ireland; turbulent sea in St Andrews, Scotland; and rolling hills in the English Lake District.
Early in my life I was a classical violinist. The way that music takes shape over time - how the melody forms an image in our mind several bars into the piece - still influences how I think and create today. I design for interaction, making compositions that unfold in time.
The painting assumes the format of a 'movie' of our personal experience of moving around and improvising with the piece.
The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh described the work as 'happy making'. Some say the interactive nature of the work is 'magic'.