I am a self-taught artist inspired by the incredible beauty of nature.
I work to capture not just the shape, pattern and lines of the subject, but also their character and personality. Perhaps because of my biological background, I pay a lot of attention in placing the subject into a natural and characteristic pose and creating colours and patterns that are specific to the species. I also attempt to place the subject into a realistic and natural context, while still providing my own artistic interpretation. I collect materials wherever I go, and I am always taking photographs.
I usually have a very clear idea of how I want the artwork to look, and I will work with multiple reference photos to try and capture
the specific traits of the species or individual. I start with a basic sketch, and then build it from there. Because I often create specific flora and fauna, this raises the complexity beyond just cutting a piece to fit. Each piece needs to be the desired shape and scale, and of course, putting down a new piece can change the relationships between the ones already in place. So, I work to get each piece right (often cutting, re-cutting and changing each piece), while also managing its relationship to the next piece and the one before, and all the time considering how it is working as a whole. This makes the work very slow going, but it is definitely mentally engaging!
Everything is created by hand. From the custom wrought iron frames to the ceramic tiles and fused and sculpted glass. I make all of the fused glass elements myself, either in kilns or on the flame torch, often using the ‘wrong’ techniques and materials to produce unique and innovative elements. Indeed, I am constantly experimenting and pushing the boundaries, and many of my ‘mistakes’ become works of art!
I love working with different mediums and will often combine different elements into a single mosaic. These include glass, ceramic tile, mineral specimens, stones, rocks, paint, treated wood, metal signs, wire and all sorts of recycled ‘junkyard’ materials. I am a big fan of the junkyard!
Most of my more recent work is in relief (built up). Along with the addition of real-life objects, I try to place the plants, birds or animals in a more three-dimensional context, such that they protrude from the two-dimensional plane. I find this creates a more realistic and varied texture to the artworks, and helps bring the subjects and scenes to life.