New “artist’s statement”

I recently wrote this extract for a competition entry, but it might as well be my new artist’s statement. It was interesting to see how my ideas have changed after a year of studying at The Florence Academy of Art


I see art as an intersection between reality and the self, a way of making sense of the world around me. The subject - or image - is secondary to the process of art making, as the act of translating reality is elevated beyond mere mark making to a lifestyle and endless personal journey. Thus, art has become a rumination on the vastness of reality for which I can only humbly represent through the limitations of my medium, skill and understanding.

The underlying principle that I adhere to in both my life and practice is "variety within unity," whereby my artistic decisions are always informed and governed by the constraints of my subject. Since I work exclusively from life, this means my subject matter is reality itself.

My interest in the figure and portrait stems from my fascination of the boundary between the private internal world of human beings and the external world around them. Everything we do is a constant battle between the limitations of our humanity and the infinity of reality: the decisions we make, our ideas of ourselves and others, our own personal narratives and our views on history, are all influenced by preconceptions which we conflate with the oneness of reality. If "to err is human" and as Hogath put it, drawing is "the art of varying well", then drawing becomes a way of life.

My research is currently focused on the practice and philosophical approach of pre-modernist European and American artists, especially the mid-to-late nineteenth century. I feel that art history is too vast, deep and complex to ignore and that focusing on the twentieth century alone is impractical.

I genuinely feel that the art establishment of today is far too focused on the motifs, subject and narratives portrayed in artwork of the past, entirely missing the point. There is no doubt in my mind that the masters we all admire knew that everything is connected, as though marching to a single drum beat: every atom and electron, the cycles of the seasons, the ebb and flow of the tides and even our own heartbeat, are all instruments playing in the same orchestra. It is the artist's job to arrange the music, to make sense of the chaos, and to bring unity to the endless variety of the human experience. If you take the time to really look, to contemplate and let go, you too can tap into the flow of these rhythms.

My painting, “Thread of Thoughts,” explores these themes. Depicting a young artist at work, surrounded by her creations, one can only wonder if these are objects are physically there with her or if they exist entirely in her head. She works with sewing, crochet and embroidery; mediums often derided as mere craft, but she is very much a contemporary artist, lost in a single moment.