Tell us a little bit about your artistic background/education
I originally graduated with a law degree, but I had always sought out art classes wherever I could, and soon the part-time classes snowballed to full-time - I studied on the Painting Course at Leith School of Art for two years and then I went to Glasgow School of Art, where I graduated with ﬁrst class honours in Painting and Printmaking.
Could you describe your practice?
In my work I am exploring ideas of transience, of shifting time and space. I am fascinated by the conversation between illusionistic space, painterly surface, and the painting as an object in itself.
My practice is a combination of working from observation and memory; and working intuitively, responding to marks and colours. Often one painting becomes the source for another and I work across several canvases at once, so the paintings all inform each other. Often I work and rework areas over a period of weeks or months. When I am painting, it feels like I am playing a game of chess, making, and responding to moves.
What are your art inﬂuences? Which contemporary artists/makers do you admire and why?
I look to Pierre Bonnard a lot - his use of colour is incredible, and he also worked from memory, using colour as an instinctive vehicle to convey sensations and feelings.
Joan Mitchell is someone else I return to for her mark-making and use of colour. Her work has such energy, and a vibrating sense of space, without any pictorial depiction or use of perspective.
As for contemporary artists - I have been looking at the work of Victoria Morton and Amy Sillman. I have learned a lot from the way they both play with the dialogue between abstraction and ﬁguration, and also how they develop their work through the making of it. There is a balance of clear, deliberate decision-making and instinctive decision-making which is something I aim for in my own work. I like Amy Sillman’s description of painting as, ‘[…] a physical thinking process to continue an interior dialogue, a way to engage in a kind of internal discourse, or sublinguistic mumbling…’.
What makes a good day in the studio for you?
Any day that a painting is going well!
In the studio – music, audiobook, podcast, Radio or silence?
If I’m doing preparation work like stretching and priming canvases I might listen to a podcast, but when I’m painting I listen to music. I tend to ﬁnd an album or two that gets me in to the right zone, and then, if the work is going well, those albums get put on repeat for quite some time!
What is coming up next for you and where can we see more of you work?
I am currently on a residency with Saltspace in Glasgow, which will culminate in a solo show opening on 24th January. I am also working on a new body of work which will be exhibited in the RSA: New Contemporaries 2020, from 15th February to 11th March.