We’re all aware of the stereotype of a tortured artists, and I definitely embody this spirit. I developed this mind-set from a young age after being bullied throughout school. I’m not sure if it is due to being bullied, or just my psychological make up but I would say that for most of my life I have never felt like I fitted in. In fact, I would say I have quite an odd perspective on the world. This, and the constant struggle against society’s ‘norm’ is at the core of my practice. I have a preoccupation with exploring notions of beauty and superficial aesthetics and how the environments we occupy can disturb us.
I have suffered with Depression and Anxiety for a long time, and my studio practice allows me to deal with these thought processes. I would love for the legacy of my artwork to raise awareness of these mental health issues.
I have learned that people don't know what to do when someone is not ok. I've heard 'she'll grow out of it', 'she' get over it', 'she's just laying it on', 'she's just moaning'. I remember feeling particularly hopeless and turning to my doctor only for them to be dismissive and say 'oh just get a hobby, Go for a walk'.
I discovered a collection of artists I could relate to when I was 19. I had an epiphany moment with Georgia O’Keefe, ‘I found I could say things with colours that I couldn't say in any other way – things that I had no words for’. A research trip to the Turner Prize and Emin’s work opened my eyes to a whole new level of self-expression and I never looked back. I realised that I had found a way to escape the obsessive thoughts of my eating disorder and that I could express myself through art.
I often get asked how a painting begins. I mix my own paint, use plaster, create triptychs and feel that paintings have become almost sculptural. The pieces I produce allow me to represent the complex environment I have in my head. I cherish my time in the studio. It is normally messy; complete disorder but hours can go by allowing me to find calm painting. I don’t have a preconceived idea of the end result and if I ever do, the end piece usually doesn’t work out the way I wanted it to
I go obsessive phases with colour and mark making. I use so many materials now; materials; acrylic, oils, spray paint, household paint, pastels, pens. I apply paint quite quickly and thickly. Alongside a variety of brushes and pallet knives, you’ll often find me using hairbrushes, cutlery, credit cards, combs, coat hangers, and branches of wood to add texture and to scratch through layers of colour. I enjoy taking an object and giving it another purpose. The process of developing an image can be hyperactive, obsessive, and meticulous but it is always therapeutic. I normally work on more than one piece at once, partly to pacify the need for perfection in one painting, but also because mark making can become more intense and stretch beyond the size of one canvas.