Most of my work consists of Steel plate colour inked etchings: coloured inks are applied in one application and printed in one pull. This is quite a labour intensive process but, coupled with the ochre background, it produces a mellow and faded tone. Fabriano Rosaspino paper also helps impart the mood of something remembered. Each print is slightly different as during the wiping process colours merge and are altered. Some of the larger plates can take a whole day to produce one print off.
The Images of childhood form my visual language, a style developed during the final months at art college in Dundee, Scotland. However, it was only after graduating and creating a whole body of work from those initial pieces that I realised there was something more going on than a simple portrayal of my 'happy' childhood. New pieces brought increasingly uneasy responses from others and it soon became obvious that the work had a dark and maybe macabre underlying nature.
It seems that unconsciously remembered injustices left to fester had begun to find their adult voice. This visual language has never spoken directly about the childhood injustices however and still skirts around the real chosen issues - riding with them on the back of other, grown-up experienced injustices and emotional hurts.
That initial need to heal my childhood hurt has now combined with a strong desire to communicate with the 'hidden' pains of others, to depict encountered injustices and to share personal ideas.
Using self-selected, 'familiar' toys is a natural choice - yielding visions of a much wished for but kinder and ochre-tinted memory of childhood. Invariably, however, by the time a piece has been created, the chosen toys are maimed, cracked and sinister - harmed by a physical version of the psychological pain that remains from rejection in childhood.
This doesn't mean the work produced is dark and ugly and that the doom and gloom of a therapy-based aspect is the only spur to work - the big prize lies in the tussle when creating a piece of work: the chase of orchestrating play of line and form, the breathtaking buzz of getting 'hot' when brain, eye, hand and heart come together so honestly - it is uniquely sweet, joyful and totally addictive as a practice.