What would you want a portrait be in this day and age when everyone has a camera to hand 24/7, capturing – and editing – their likeness, showing the world not who they are, but who they like to be seen to be?
I recently graduated in contemporary portraiture from The Art Academy in London as a mature student, having worked in interiors magazines for many years. I had always liked painting and the magic of capturing mood and likeness – I still do. However, taking time to really think about modern day portraiture has set me off on a new path, one more focused on narrative, telling people’s stories and exploring their sense of self, where they fit and engage with the world. This now provides the backbone for my work.
I still paint, mostly in oils, but I will also use any medium I think best-captures the essence and mood of a story including text and found objects. I am always on the look out for connections between things which can be quite an obsessional pastime. Yet those connections are nearly always there and I like to chivvy them into order to create a narrative.
My work is designed to have a sense of intimacy. I like to draw the viewer in and to whisper the message quietly. Sometimes it may be ambiguous or private, but invariably there are bigger themes at play too, after all we are all made of the same stuff, and that’s part of the beauty.
I have shown work in several London exhibitions and have had a solo show of my painted portraits at National Trust Standen in Sussex. My recent work focuses on class, genes, loss and gentrification with just a little whiff of madness.