1) Describe your perfect day at the studio—what are your ideal conditions for creativity?
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi delivered a wonderful Ted talk on “flow.” I have sought out theories and discussions on similar topics, because for me to do my best work I believe that I have to reach a place where the subconscious takes over, or at least takes the helm. I have been lucky in that I have never found myself short of inspiration, and so undisturbed time is my biggest challenge. Finding stretches of it where I can start to unfold my ideas and inspiration, and then gradually let go of everything but the act...
(Click here to watch the Ted Talk by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi)
2) Your latest exhibition is called ‘Stage.’ This word has such a history, and rich connotations. What about the concept of the stage resonates with your practice?
Constructing tension between a perception of a physical place, and the awareness of the mediums and their application is an ongoing quest for me. Setting a stage to reveal an emotional experience: mine, in my absorbing and retelling of an inspiration, and the viewer’s experience, in the way that they view the “set” through their own filters. Interrupting our willingness to accept illusions of perspective with marks that so obviously live on a two dimensional surface. It seems theatrical in a way. A stage. A story.
3) This new work demonstrates some new palettes for you—are there particular pigments or contrasts that are exciting you these days?
Pink is such a loaded colour. This could be a long answer I think! I will keep it short though. I have avoided it in the past, but I have pulled it out lately and have been appreciating the emotional response that I now have to it.
4) What about the motif of the birch tree in particular inspires you? Are there other naturally occurring forms that lend themselves well to paint?
I am drawn to patterns and textures that occur in nature, and birch trees are such a fabulous place to find both. The graphic black and white of the trees allows for endless flexibility and interest when partnered with other pigments. They are a perfect starting point for explorations in mediums and their application. They are represented within the pieces while at the same time generously accepting of abstraction. Birches, grasses, and many other tree forms allow me to tell a tale of found beauty--of human perception, as well as of paint.
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