Artist Statement

Art-Speak

My experimental practice-research takes an autoethnographical approach in exploring how ‘line’ can positively impact the physical natural environment and ecoliterate social change in the context of the climate crisis.

Through an interdisciplinary collaborative approach with both human and more-than-human communities (drawing, sculpture, photography:film, installation, participatory activity) , I argue that creative, scientific, material, existential, emotional and spiritual transformation – on which the survival of humanity relies – arises from compassionate action. I believe in and call for a restorative (re)cultivation of care and respect with our more-than-human kin and with each other.

I am inspired by environmental philosophies and ethics, cutting-edge climate science, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, my British and Irish indigenous cosomologies, land-based ontologies and my own direct experience of the Earth. I use a blend of science, art-making, empiricism, mysticism and direct experience to better interact and ‘listen’ to the more-than-human world and promote radical empathy, kindness and kinship towards the Earth. I use natural, biodegradable and/or recycled:reclaimed:borrowed materials to draw experimentally in the expanded field, through page and print but equally through foraging, growing, and walking. I seek to directly challenge anthropocentric thinking whilst supporting biodiversity:wildlife through biodegradable sculpture, land-based installation, direct action and community participation.

I am also co-director of the arts magazine:project The Critical Fish, which looks to make writing and thinking about visual arts and culture more inclusive and accessible.

Artist Statement

Plain English

I’m really interested in ‘the big questions’ in life and how I can turn my thoughts about them into art. My process usually begins with drawing things from observation, and seeing how they can grow into other artforms.

I tend to draw more than anything, but for me, drawing is more than 2D pencils on paper. I’m interested in exploring how I can draw ‘off the page’… so, if drawing were sculpture, as audio-visual, as participation or as something else… what would that be like?

Connections are important to me and how the intellectual, sensual and material link with the concepts, subjects and contexts I’m inspired by – I like layering all these things up in my practice, and I’m interested in how the people who interact with my work understand and interpret these things.

At the moment, I’m really fascinated in thinking around if – and how – drawing can be used to have a positive impact on the way we treat the planet and each other. How can we use ‘line’ in a way that directly enhances or supports the real-world environment? Or influence how people interact with the Earth?

Can drawing be used to help us care more about the planet? If we expanded our definition of community to include ‘the Land’ (plants, trees, mountains, water, wind etc), would we be kinder to it? Can drawing help us alter our perspective so that we view the Earth as the living entity that it is?

It’s this sort of radical perspective that I’m trying to promote within my art.

Another thing that is important to me, is that art – making art, experiencing art, thinking about art – is inclusive and accessible. This focus on inclusivity spans my entire creative practice, including the things that are an extension of my practice, like my day job, or within The Critical Fish.

The Critical Fish, by the way, is an artist-led project that promotes critical but accessible art-writing. Originally co-founder, I am now Co-Director and Accessibility Officer. As well as the usual stuff that comes along with producing a research-led, creative print/online magazine, I tend to produce the participatory projects and initiatives as part of Fish, to explore different ways of including people into the conversation!

 

Research as Practice Statement

  • I use the body and mind itself as a means of doing research.
  • I know through making:doing:sensing. I build through receptivity. I becomeinspired by theory. I analyse using the written word. I find purpose in sharing.
  • I work intuitively, and trust in the process and the directions I’m nudged in (even when it pushes my thinking and boundaries).
  • I need my values to align to my work.
  • I lean into the fact that no research can be done objectively, and instead acknowledge and accommodate subjectivity, emotionality and my own influence on research.
  • I am a creative autoethnographer, working with the non-human to learn new ways of being whilst encouraging the human to experience my research.
  • I believe research can be emotional, therapeutic, personal, and social, AND also rigorous, theoretical and analytical.
  • I believe in the application of research – findings should influence your broader practice.
  • I find value and meaning in a wider lens of the world.
  • I care about accessibility, diversity and inclusion, and artistic research is a way to begin and deepen wider conversations.
  • I consider research to be a political, socially-just and socially-conscious act.
  • My core research is around deepening human capacity to empathise with the non-human