My work, developed over the last 12 years, explores responses to places and spaces. The work begins with an experience common to us all: visiting a place, whether strolling in a city, walking in the countryside or climbing a mountain. Using a variety of different media – oil, watercolour, collage, photography – I recreate a sense of place after visits to specific sites. In the finished works, colour and form function both figuratively and symbolically, seeking to capture both the reality of a place – its distinct objective qualities – and also the power of subjective feelings that are unique to the observer.
The work develops out of times of reflection and contemplation after specific experiences, my works in oil being the most obvious of these. Both Ladhar Bheinn (1) and An Teallach (2) reflect on the experience of climbing two remote and magnificent Scottish mountains. In my landscape works, colour and form function symbolically to express both emotional and spiritual qualities of a given place: from the geometric ordering of Sunset over Evenes (3) to the turbulent clashes seen in An Teallach (2) and Towards Turville (4).
Stemming from my research and writing about architectural history, I am also concerned with the relationship between the built and the ‘natural’ environment, especially when witnessed in an historical context. Visits to several places have informed specific works: Aleppo (5) and the Byzantine ‘dead cities’ in northern Syria (6); the medieval ‘old’ city of Dubrovnik (7); the underground complex of limestone tunnels near Maastricht in Holland (8); and the ancient city of Peshawar in northern Pakistan (9). Stylistically these works derive much from the art of Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky by creating a sense of depth (both literal and symbolic) through the layering of different materials (ink, chalk and watercolour) and by drawing on non-perspectival methods of representation. See more of my work here.