Originally from Newcastle upon Tyne, UK I am based in Melbourne, Australia. A sculptor in clay and a visual arts teacher, I have worked in the education sector for over 15 years at Eton College, Berkshire, UK and more recently Scotch College in Melbourne. I have a Master of Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Wales Institute Cardiff.
I find the act of people watching totally engrossing. I relish the opportunity to steal glances and wonder at the people communing in street cafes or shopping in the supermarket. A forty minute journey on the metro provides the perfect opportunity to observe the person sitting opposite in detail. The hour of the day and their dress contextualises their journey. But what is their voice like? Who do they love? What are their dreams? The subjects are engrossed in thoughts, or their phone, or the view, and assume that although they are surrounded by people, they are alone. Anonymous and invisible in a crowd of strangers. This is their time to think, consolidate and prepare for the day ahead or reflect on the spent hours. My observations of commuters celebrate the space in between. Everyone is waiting to arrive somewhere. The necessary travel time is living on the way.
They are not portraits or representations of individuals but composites of people observed over time and during numerous journeys. A figurative language of universal types and habits. ‘Every man’ going about their business.
The ceramic sculptors to whom I most aspire, could capture this. An honest human gesture frozen in a clay figurine.
It is that gesture that I am in pursuit of.
The tea bowls and plates offer an exciting canvas for processes of print and montage that are somehow enriched by the clay surface.
Scotch College Residency
I was the resident artist at Scotch College Melbourne throughout 2019. The work is informed by first hand experiences of the day to day routine of the school and its community as well as its significant history. The resulting sculpture and functional ware explore themes of remembrance, mateship, and youth. I have spent many years as a teacher in boys’ educational institutions, the subject is therefore very closely connected to my personal history.
The source material is rich and diverse. I am particularly interested in the contradiction between the formality that lends structure to the institution and the energy, distractions and contemporary values of emerging pupils.