Modern day consensus thinking doesn’t encourage truthful expression. Society expects us to remain ordered and has little tolerance for those who embrace and celebrate the natural ebb and flow of human emotions. As a result these emotions often become filtered or remain hidden away in dark corners of the subconscious, never to be explored, discussed or expressed in any way. My work is a personal exploration of that part of the psyche that is rarely acknowledged. To a large extent, my work is self reflective. I’m fascinated by one’s personal evolution and over the last couple of years I’ve been very aware of my relationship to the creative process and how it’s influenced by my emotional state at the time. My work can reflect immense beauty or utter despair. I leave that up to the viewer to decide.
I was born and raised in a town just outside Cape Town, called Bellville.
I don’t know if they’re habits or rituals, but I always light a candle before I start working, play Stars by Brian Eno and from time to time, I do bust out some “serious dance moves”.
My work and process constantly explores the concept of taking the mind out of the creative process to allow for a more honest expression. In my view, creativity is not reliant on a cognitive process. Over-thinking can destroy originality. Goal orientated work will always be master to the goal itself and can only be set free once one surrenders to a blank canvas to see what it has to reveal. My process is simple: I disconnect from the world, don’t think about achieving something, find a quiet space in my mind and immerse myself in it. Once I have achieved this, I’m no longer in control of the outcome. In this way, sometimes the work comes quickly, and at other times, it’s a real struggle. But this method offers me very different kind of reward.
Growing up in South Africa in the 70’s and 80’s, during the height of the apartheid regime, was very confusing to me as a child. I was naturally inquisitive and very intuitive. From a very early age, I had the sense that something was fundamentally wrong with our country. Our country was controlled by the National Party government. This suppressive state controlling what I could watch, read or listen to, forced me to find my creative voice. The more questions I asked, the more lies as was fed by my community, the state and the church. This coupled with the extreme censorship we were under, fuelled a raging fire in me to seek the Truth. Despite all of this, I’ve always been involved in some form of creativity. From acting in school plays, performing at poetry competitions, studying graphic design to singing in indie bands in the 90’s, I’ve always found a way to express myself. I guess all of these experiences, good and bad, have shaped me into the artist I am today.
Every day reveals something unexpected. For me no painting is the same. My work is inspired by the world we live in today. A world vastly different to the one I knew as a child. A world where instant gratification is the order of the day and everything seems accelerated, impermanent and often meaningless. It feels chaotic and I find myself strongly influenced by this. To reflect this current state of being, I work with spray paint, charcoal, pencils, turpentine and acrylics. All of these materials can dry within minutes, which allows me the opportunity to change images at the drop of a hat. It also allows me to work fast. I don’t think, I just do. At the end of each week I’ll review work in progress and completed pieces. Some pieces survive, while others get happily discarded. Nothing here is permanent or precious. Everything is disposable.