I studied Fine Art at Portsmouth before working in the design industry and in consultancy. Subsequently I entered art & design education, co-creating then running the unique multidiscipline design course at Goldsmiths’ College and later becoming Head of School at the University of Hertfordshire.
Currently I am a member of Herts Visual Arts and before joining the Wynd Gallery have exhibited in a number of regional galleries with work in local private collections. From 800 entrants I was recently shortlisted for the London Contemporary Art Prize which resulted in two London exhibitions.
EXPLORING ASPECTS OF MATERIALISM
It might be argued that our consumer society is wasteful with too many commodities unfairly distributed and advertising feeding on vulnerability and dissatisfaction. However, our material culture has provided many of us with a ‘quality of life’ that would not have been enjoyed in the recent past and is unobtainable in numerous parts of the world.
To explore our materialism I am examining simple domestic objects in a style that I am referring to as ‘EcoPop’, or ‘Pop Art with a conscience’. With inspiration from Michael Craig Martin and Patrick Caulfield these images catalogue the careful crafting of the forms and the detailed finishes of ‘Everyday Things’ which sadly we either ignore or discard. The work is currently organised into three collections 1] Things Discarded, 2] Things Overlooked and 3] Things and Issues. To explore their significance, each object is presented with a short text which attempts to outline the reason for its selection.
These drawings are made by observing and recording the subjects. There is no computer trickery or photographic technique involved. The software provides a set of tools which offers both possibilities and limitations. I work within these constraints, using a limited pallet and hard-edged shapes to celebrate a collection of ingenious objects.
All prints are available at A4, A3 and A2 with some at A1, they are presented frameless and mounted on aluminium Dibond. I also produce ‘cutouts’ which are printed on Foamex and CNC routed to the profile of the object.
1] THINGS OVERLOOKED
Although Ikea stocks red, green and black plasters and there are clear ones with a white or beige dressing. I can only find one company, Plasta from South Africa, who make plasters to match black and other ethnic skin tones.
2] THINGS DISCARDED
Three sheets of thin paper are formed into an inexpensive lightweight board. This looks deceptively simple but is structurally quite sophisticated. The stiff skins are separated by a rigid corrugated core which turns these flimsy components into a robust sheet.
3] THINGS DISCARDED / CUTOUT
Beer is the most widely consumed alcoholic beverage in the world and is the third most popular drink after water and tea. Beer bottles are part of the 500 glass containers that each UK family uses in a year. We currently recycle around 50% of this glass and, while this figure has doubled over the last five years, we still lag behind both Switzerland and Finland who recycle more than 90%. It is important for us to improve our recycling as the largest UK furnace produces over 1 million glass bottles and jars each day.
4]THINGS & ISSUES
Each year 700,000 people from across the world die from drug resistant infections whilst one in four prescriptions for antibiotics in the UK are unnecessary. In many countries fish and livestock farmers use antibiotics as growth promoters and indiscriminately pour them on their livestock. Rare strains of superbugs, resistant to antibiotics, start to thrive in these artificial environments. They emerge as highly potent infectious agents that then spread across the planet with startling speed.
5]THINGS & ISSUES
Sleep [or Another Bed]
Many people today see sleeping as a weakness and put social and business demands before the need to sleep. When I was born in the 1940’s less than 8% of the population was surviving on less than 6 hours – today almost 1 in 2 are doing so. With only 4/5 hours sleep our natural killer cells drop by 70% and research shows that the shorter our slumbers the shorter our life.