I grew up in an era where exposure to television was a deliberate and shared experience and my recollection of TV as a child, one of the earliest influences on my interest in narrative, is that it was slow, deliberate and awkward with gaps between to speculate. I have long been interested in the strong associations that one has with a particular visual form from a dimly remembered past. We respond to the world through internalized colour memories and visual languages; a world mediated through film and television and the screen.
I am currently revisiting the rural english landscapes of my childhood, fabricating landscapes from multiple sources including recollection, direct experience through drawing and walking in the landscape and found imagery. I am restoring the English Elm as depicted in historical paintings and recollected films as a metaphor for a distant idea of englishness that has uncomfortable associations in contemporary British life. The English Elm disappeared in my lifetime and seems to me to have become a powerful representation of loss and nostalgia. It appears in all English landscape painting, and then disappears as it disappeared suddenly from the landscape through Dutch Elm disease. The settings for these landscapes are ambiguous claustrophobic studio interiors that reveal the edges and hidden spaces that result from these painted ‘fabrications’.
Painting is fabrication with truth at its core.