Ever since my early teens, when I discovered the work of Juan Gris the Cubist, who made his still lifes out of torn and cut segments of French newspapers and bits of frayed wine label, I have been fascinated by collage. My earliest portraits and still lifes were made with fragments of paper of one sort or another. And nowadays I still work with paper and glue as well as paint. With my collage portrait commissions, I enjoy the idea that something as particular as a portrait can be rendered with a chaos of re-cycled paper scraps. My MA dissertation was on collage portraiture. I often visit St Ives and much of my still life work is inspired by the coastal landscape of North Cornwall and by the work of Cornish artists, past and present, who flatten shapes and experiment with textures and colour in a way that combines abstraction and figuration. In the same spirit of 'now you see it, now you don't', I am currently experimenting with the idea that paintings can look like collages and collages can look like paintings.
In recent years, I have also become interested in exploring more narrative themes. If there is a way that this can be linked to my still life and portrait work, I think it is via Cornwall and by recollections of holidays and time spent by the sea in the South West of England as a child and in more recent times. Using photographic reference and drawings, I am currently working on a series of paintings and collages that explore these themes. These recent paintings feel to me like painted memoirs. They have a personal resonance but I hope and intend that they also have some life beyond the subjective.