I would describe myself as an ‘automatic crystal painter’. I make abstract paintings in which the art historically well-established practice of extemporised abstraction is reconceived or regenerated through some quite distinctive practices of my own devising.
Principal amongst these is the use of crystals, both as a painting medium and as painting tools. A variety of crystals are ground and mixed in with the paint so that its liquidity is offset by a grainy, mineral, surface. Large pieces of rutilated quartz and other crystals are used instead of brushes or pallet knives – held in my fist like a stone-age hand-axe, they impart a direct physicality.
I use crystals both for their material properties and for the mystical and ritual significance associated with these minerals in cultures all over the world. Crystals combine an emphatic materiality with a sense of the ineffable, of the magic of the veil beyond our reality.
The ambition is to both extend and depart from the strong tradition of painting defined by the canonical figures I admire, such as Asger Jorn and Willem de Kooning, and reconcile that with the spiritual dimension we now associate with the growing awareness of the works of the mystic, and pioneer of abstraction, Hilma af Klint.