New Walk Park, Leicester UK 1989
During the late 80’s I attended art college and found it a restricting and claustrophobic experience. With the dominance of conceptual art at the time, and the prominence of the then emerging shock art of the YBA’s; I became aware I was not suited to art college and it became the least creative time of my life. With the realisation that I was most creative in the evenings in the privacy of my own room, I decided to drop out of art education. I wanted to find my language in the domestic and the commonplace, away from what I felt was the ‘guarded’ impersonal language of high art.
I traveled the UK with what money I had, looking for subjects: different streets, parks, different people, different places. I created on kitchen tables, in garden sheds, garages, attics, bedroom floors, and the cupboard under the stairs.
I became interested in challenging ideas of art elitism and would place work in gallery settings surreptitiously and began producing woodcut prints especially for this purpose. I also exhibited under different creative names to obscure notions of a strong branded authorship which typified the art of the time. Other creative surnames used at the time with family origin from Wales and Devonshire – Bayliss, Marshall, Price, Jones, Litten, Litton.
I was not interested in making what I was doing look contemporary, ambitious or aspirational and chose unartlike materials – note paper – cardboard boxes – envelopes with drawn on biro. A playful indulgence with impromptu imagery took hold. A process of uninhibited divergent thinking aided the creative free flow and resulted in many hundreds of works produced each year. It became important to find a free flowing dialogue between my life and my art. I felt it was important that I did not ‘police my thoughts’ and I wanted this phrase to resonate in the work.
Main Works from this period 1989-95