Interview with Turner Barnes Gallery: October 2018

What is the story/theme/inspiration/idea behind your work/collection?

The inspiration for my work has always come from found material, trawling through car boot sales, junk shops and antiques fairs, anything that catches my eye. The story behind my most recognised work started with finding a vintage Japanese postcard with enigmatic images of Geishas. Coincidentally I also found a vintage Playboy magazine at the same car boot sale. The idea of East Meets West /Culture Clash began there.

What influences your work? e.g. Artists/Movements/certain works/historic time

As an art student I always remember standing in front of Duchamp’s The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors and being totally blown away. I have thought in layers ever since that moment.

Film and literature has also played had a big influence on the themes I introduce to my work. Reading One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez introduced me to magic realism and led me to want to introduce tangential themes to my work. 

More recently and have been reading Japanese literature, in particular the works of Haruki Murakami who like Marquez weaves magic realism into his contemporary fictional story-telling.

In what way does your inspiration transform into ideas?

Thematic and Material layers. I choose from found materials and assemble an image using relevant or contradictory themes… you instinctively know when the concept, imagery and materials will work together.

What is your favourite type/genre of art and why?

The Dada and Surrealism movements in the early 20-century have always fascinated me. Experimental and irreverent they shaped the way for modern avant-garde art from constructivism to pop art to punk rock. In particular mixed-media artists Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp have had a profound effect on the way I have looked at image making.

What drove you to make art a professional vocation?

Understanding that to realise your full creative potential you have to stand up and be counted.

What do you feel makes your style of work unique?

I don’t necessarily set out to be unique but as my work is created around ‘found’ material and I like to experiment with different mediums it seems to have its own identity which seems hard to categorise.

Why do you choose to work in such a variety of mediums?

Restless creativity I guess?  So many different materials to experiment with, some don’t make it past the draft stage though.

What does being an artist mean to you?

Someone who is prepared to bear his or her soul in public without the right to expect universal approval.

What sentence sums up your artwork?

Original and compelling imagery that makes you pause a while.

With thanks to Turner Barnes Gallery