From a young age, I have had a strong sense that things aren’t right. My philosophical practice is my search to know why and find better ways of being.
Finding things in the world around me that I want to respond to, to share: the beauty, the absurdity, of it all – I use performance, film, simple technology and speculative fiction to represent inner worlds and ideas I can’t express any other way.
I have learnt that Capitalism is failing and with it our sense of control. How can we break free from its influence? How do we regain our power? How do we co-create better futures?
Capitalism is a masterful storyteller, so I counter its narratives with my own. Narratives that lie somewhere between visual art, theatre, social practice and activism, that reflect on some of the key issues of our times. Stories that draw from the fringes of history, current events, and popular culture, and tap into cultural and personal memory. Tales of resistance to conflict and control, the consequences of war across generations, and the lingering impacts of empire and modern-day colonisations. Always presenting multiple perspectives that unveil the intricate interplay of contemporary existence, laced through with vulnerability and wry humour. The recurring themes around class, gender, and technology travel a long way and cross projects. I love getting under the skin of my characters. Trying to understand what makes them tick and build empathy. It’s worth feeling a little uncomfortable.
Approaching each work as a painter I often find painting historically not possible, choosing instead, to experiment with novel ways of narrating and visualising history in the multimedia era, by fusing traditional processes with interactive and broadcast technologies. I do, however, always start with the desire to retrieve history painting’s sublated good. I’m intrigued by the accessibility and communicative power of the outdated and problematic genre that engaged diverse audiences and the public of its time.
Much like historical painters before me, in the creation of my work, there are many creative methodologies and technical processes involved. Processes that involve construction, commissioning and collaboration across various fields. My research follows an extensive journey: writing, collaging, drawing, storyboarding, making handmade costumes and props crafted with care and slow labour, choreography, improv, testing and feedback, green screen, digital video, post-production, editing, animation and special effects, sound, voicework, and silence, to audience activation and behaviour hacks.
My creations span from room-sized graphic novels that the audience can walk around, the characters meticulously drawn in pencil and ink on paper, gesso on board, or painted in oil on laser-cut powder-coated steel, brought to life by Arduino circuits and proximity sensors; to 3D animated characters and environments; digital films; immersive artworks; collaboration with AI. The resulting works emanate an unapologetic imperfect charm. They are tender, humorous, political, soul-stirring, contradictory, and melancholic, all encompassed by a predominantly black and white aesthetic.