Current studio work

My latest work is a series called an alphabet of unremarkable onjects. We can easily overlook the things that we use every day, and so in these paintings I have placed them centre stage.

I was watching Chiwetel Ejiofor’s film The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind, and in one of the scenes there was a makeshift classroom with a hand painted alphabet chart pinned to the back wall. The image was only fleeting but nonetheless, it inspired me to create my own alphabet.

All the objects in my alphabet are things that belong to me and that I use on a regular basis. Their everyday nature means that they are unremarkable to me and I take them for granted, and so it was interesting to focus on them with this level of detail. I developed a particular set of guidelines for my process, which included writing 26 words for each object (because there are 26 letters in the alphabet).
H is for hammer
L is for labels

Because of the original impulse for this work, it felt right to construct the finished images as a wall chart, which artist and maker Sarah Tranter did very beautifully for me.
Alphabet chart

I am now doing what I think of as site specific flyposting, where I post an image in a site with which I feel it has some resonance.
Site specific flyposting
Flyposting H is for hammer outside Bishopston Hardware shop.

Open gate
K is for knife on the gate to my allotment.

It’s hard to know the impact of this ephemeral way of showing work, and it can be reassuring to hear that people have noticed it. I was sent this message by a woman who saw the flypost of K is for knife.
‘Spotted your Dad’s knife on the gate when I returned to my allotment today. Can’t articulate what joy and sentiment it meant to see your art. Thank you, thank you.’

L is for Labels 2
L is for labels flyposted outside the Post Office on Gloucester Road.
L is for Labels 3

With the assistance of a Creative Freelancer Grant from the West of England Combined Authority, I was able to attend one of StoryCentre’s digital storytelling courses, where I made this film. It describes the process of making the alphabet, and I was particularly interested in trying to show the many different decisions we take when we’re making or doing something.

StoryCentre chose it as their film of the month in December 2021, accompanied by this text, ‘As the world faces another year of looming pandemic and climate unknowns and the erosion of democracy in the U.S. and abroad, we hope you’ll join those movements for justice that call to you. We hope you’ll also take the time to nourish your soul by savoring the healing power of everyday objects’.