As someone who is simultaneously baffled and fascinated by the everyday world, my art practice allows me to explore the questions that niggle at the back of my mind. Often these questions focus on the entanglement of people, process and place. Collecting and recording are an important part of the process and I often feel the need to engage with a place physically through walking, running, cycling and kayaking. Making is a way of reflecting and making sense of my encounters and experiences. The media and processes I choose allow me to get to know the subject I’m interested in and often involve a direct participation with my surroundings and the use of non traditional materials.
Recently I’ve become absorbed in those overlooked and often fleeting, opportunistic habitats that open up in the cracks and detritus of our built surroundings. They make me think about how artists look for these gaps where infinite possibilities might lie. How might a passerby be invited to experience and get to know these hidden places and processes? Would this direct interaction with a place open up new and playful environmental thinking?
Sometimes I work alone but more often with others looking to make art within the communities I function and live in. I construct spaces, processes and journeys that invite other people to join the process of enquiry; start fresh conversations; ask more intriguing questions and perhaps celebrate the obscure and overlooked.
Working within a social context and blurring boundaries between art and life raises questions about the nature of collaboration and participation and the delicate balances and tensions that exist within this type of work. I’ve been gradually developing a vocabulary and toolbox that I can take into different contexts. I view these ambiguous art-forms where art and people are brought together as a constantly shifting ground. This need to better understand the social relevance of contemporary art continues to underpin much of my practice and often leads me deep into the invisible social systems and processes that exist within the world of participatory art and beyond. This strand of my practice emerges in projects such as Sketch Lounge, Bury Sketchers, The Art of Messaging and other subsequent communication and language based work.
Sometimes the different strands of my practice are difficult for me to pull together and understand as a whole. Very occasionally they converge in a moment of absolute clarity. I try my best to stay grounded, keep it playful, get on with what really intrigues me.