FIGURES THAT STAND
8th June 2020
For me, this exhibition very much marks a revival of my art practice. Since leaving University in 2016, I have pursued a career as a primary teacher and although I enjoy it very much, I ended up having nowhere near as much time to produce art as I initially thought. However, this period provided me with a lengthy amount of time to evaluate my practice and carefully reflect on what drives it.
My earlier work which I produced for my degree show was driven by masculinity and the notion of a masculinity crisis. At the time, I think I was subconsciously working hard to ensure my work was ‘masculine’ because I was repressing my sexuality. My new work is autobiographical in a sense that it has become a metaphor for my freedom and liberation. The series of paintings produced for ‘FIGURES THAT STAND’ still have their connections to my older work but they are not being created at a dark time in my life but instead at a brighter one.
My new work now spans both sculpture and painting and this interesting time in my practice is one which reflects a time where two fundamental parts of my life have fused and finally become harmonious. The new paintings for this exhibition are as much autobiographical as they are vivid and gestural works which explore the tension between sculptural elements and painting. The forms have emerged in a tactile manner – similar to the process of sculpting and they appear to stand strong while, despite their awkwardness, command attention.
Exuding a sense of imbalance and hinting at the notion that something is not quite right, the figures appear motionless in the lapse between sculpture and painting. They are very much a commentary on a sculptor’s struggle to come to terms with painting and this has very much become a metaphor for my own struggle to come to terms with my sexuality.