Born in Beechmount, Belfast, Northern Ireland
BA Fine Art Printmaking Graduate from the University of Ulster
Member of Belfast Print Workshop
- Contemporary Irish Art Society – Winner 2018
- Belfast Print Workshop – Membership Award Winner 2018
- The Engine Room Gallery Exhibition Award- Print- Winner 2018
- Royal Ulster Academy of Arts 2018- Annual exhibition – “Invited” exhibition
- Longlisted Artist 2018 – RDS Visual Art Awards
Belfast College of Art Degree Show with Independent Art Curator Tony Strickland
Photo taken by Artist Karen Daye- Hutchinson who presented us with the @belfastprintworkshop awards
Within my work I explore the impact the subconscious has on us without our full knowledge. Throughout my work I create cellular like landscapes and skies, I am intrigued by the idea of something unfamiliar happening to the familiar and the shared relationship the external environment and internal environment have with one another. I find it fascinating how our subconscious effects how we cope, what we hold dear, what we appreciate, and how we express our understanding of things. Our subconscious is an uncontrollable and powerful thing. I believe our internal puts out what our external inserts, and that combined cycle is undeniably instinctive and natural.
Using instinct and impulsiveness as a method of working, lead me to create work on a personal subject that I could not ignore anymore as my work kept leading me back to it. During this time by father found out from a sudden blindness in his eye that he had Ocular Melanoma (tumour) in his eye. It was not until it was mentioned by someone else that my work resembling growths could be because of this issue, this had not occurred to me until it was said. I was uneasy and quite unnerved at the comparisons in my work in relation to Ocular Melanoma. Somewhere during this time images must on impacted me somehow to then feed into my work. What really shocked me was as I started to make bigger growths for some reason I really wanted to make 5 blue growths as the type of melanoma mainly happens to those with blue eyes. The number 5 was key to me for a long time and I didn’t know why until after I showed examples to my father. He mentioned that it was interesting how it showed the 5 stages of his treatment and decline of the tumour. Something that had not occurred to me at all and I was honestly taken aback. My work also resembles the descriptions used by my father to describe his loss of sight, moons and stars or shapes covering his view. Ocular melanoma is also treated with heat to shrink and destroy, which is the same method I used to create the growths from the beginning.
What I find intriguing is that there are different types of symbiotic relationships, those that work together for mutual benefit and the other that is one sided, one destroys the other for its own gain and growth. This type of one sided relationship is what I think Ocular Melanoma is. It feeds, manifests, takes, steals and burns the eye and its surroundings. In retaliation to treat this, we do the exact same. We take from it, bit by bit and burn this malignant form back for doing it to us, in hopes we destroy it before it destroys us. A struggle for control of what happens to us, we are very uncomfortable and find it hard to fathom the idea of something so small, claiming our lives, these growths dictating our development and our growth. Like art and instincts, illness’ are undeniably a part of human life and have always been with us, it is normal yet we feel and act like it is abnormal, we are never used to it. The reality of situations feel dreamlike and surreal, which is something I hope to achieve in my imagery.
Through the contradictions in my work, glaze is added to dry ink to replicate the idea of fake tears, which is used to water the dryness of eyes with tumours. Destructive, aggressive marks against organic shapes hidden underneath, there is a gentleness and sensitivity under the façade and reality that I wish to capture. I wish through the images and shadows covering an oasis, there is a promise of hopefulness beyond the marks that do not seem so positive or comfortable.
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