Now in 2020 I'm gearing up to launch my career and bring awareness of my work to the public. My story started whilst in the recovery period after my recent illness fighting cancer. I started to kick around the idea of pursuing a lifelong passion to create my own art. Having been a graphic designer since the late 1970’s I had become somewhat conditioned to always create for a commercial outcome and had very little time to explore and find my own artistic style. Yes I can paint, draw and use graphic software but to be honest I needed something more.
Experiencing any serious illness requires a person to be brave and face difficult situations with courage. I wanted to express that some way in art, then it came to me in the most surprising form. Soon after having my first operation I went for a first short walk down the local canal tow path. The sun was just coming through the clouds and out of the sky, floating down in front of me came a small white feather. A message or just a normal feather in the wind? To me it was a message with a light bulb attached.
Why headdresses? Not wanting to go all heavy and deep but the headdress is a well-known symbol of strength, courage, bravery and respect in many cultures. This initial portrait collection (Wild Warriors) of animals in nature from around the world celebrates those attributes especially as many animals and their natural habitats around the world are under threat. Each piece tries to capture the personality and environment the animal lives in, from forests to deserts, and includes other native species found in their habitat. Spectacular in their own right, each animal portrait is fashioned and adorned with additional elements from the past and today’s society.
My inspiration is drawn from many cultures from around the world that wear symbolic headgear in the form headdresses, crowns, hats and other devices. From Native American’s to Amazonian’s and many more my fascination and learning on how and why they use them continues. Looking at the structure of the headgear along with materials are all inspiration. All the animals images I choose each have a presence that draws you into the picture inviting you to look deeper and explore.
Cutting things up seems to do the trick for me.
Exploring the possibilities of using printed material as my chosen media. Almost all elements of my work come from discarded/used magazines, books and other printed materials. You could call them recycled art. Each piece takes me between 2-3 days to assemble but in reality takes far longer as I search through hundreds of magazines and materials.