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.
We Can Still See Each Other ? A deliberately naive appearing construction with a hollow center – takes reference from Alfred Wallis’s naive boats and paintings of the Tamar Bridge. It is in the Petullo Collection (link) along with examples of Wallis’s work.
Flasher was later exhibited in ‘Nudes’ exhibition 2003 which was reviewed in New York Times ( link )
Main Works from this period 1989-95