I moved to the North West of Ireland over twenty years ago to live in a rural coastal landscape. This move has caused both subtle and seismic shifts in my practice as my everyday lived experience of the landscape has become core to my artistic processes. I spend extensive periods of time immersed in nature and on the water, kayaking through reed bed and exploring the multi-sensory aspects of being in nature and the elemental forces of wind, rain and sun. Back in the studio, I use natural objects from the landscape such as sticks and seaweed, as well as traditional tools for mark-making.
The experience of being outside becomes embedded in my memory which I access through spontaneous writing, stream of consciousness and meditation techniques. The memory of rain on my face, light and warmth are essential signposts to logging the experience. The materiality of the experience is worked out in layers of drawing and painting on different grounds. Mixing colours on large palettes assists me in re-imagining my experience of nature and this kind of experimentation allows me to capture a unique representation of it. The smell of the landscape and its vibration is equally as important as the visual experience.
Building up marks and colour on paper and scraping them back, allows me to work towards a kind of resolution in my work, where both the incidental and accidental are central to working things out. Finding colour balance in my compositions that resonate with the original experience is a tipping point that is worked out through a constant return to place both physical and emotionally, where colours and smells become luminous in my mind’s eye.