My current work addresses the damaging effects of the age of the anthropocene, and modern humans’ potentially fatal disconnection from our own past, the natural world, and the divine. My main drive is to bridge the illusion of human separateness, and shed light on the non-rational realms beyond our limited cognisance. With a deep respect for the ancient, I explore, through materiality, process and subject matter, the forgotten stories and buried wisdoms that live inside us.
This triptych maps the trajectory of ascension from the metaphorical cave, to the light. It refers to Plato’s cave analogy, mirroring the journey of humans (both individually and collectively) towards goodness and truth; as well as the writing of Iris Murdoch. The metamorphosis is also that of the repressed feminine moving from shame into power, and the idea of rebirth.
The materials and processes I have used reflect the thematic territory of the work, for example in the first painting, representing the wombic cave or underworld, I have used coal, soil, roots, washed up bones and ground oyster shells. I have excavated and torn through layers to reflect the active intensity of the journey from the cave’s darkness. In the second painting which represents the alchemical potency of fire and blood, I have used ash, red clay and transubstantiative red wine . Red is the colour of passion, which derives from the Greek word for ‘suffering’. I believe we have to let parts of ourselves burn in the red fires of suffering, in order to make space for the new. In the last painting I have used yellow flowers and gold leaf to represent the sun, moon and cosmic realms, dancing as I work (an ancient ritual for connecting with the divine).
Through a deep engagement with materials and processes, art-making becomes a natural means through which I am able to explore and make sense of the mysteries of life.