A studio is like a bubble or a cave in that, if you want, you can stay hidden away from the world for days and weeks and months on end. I have spent a lot of time holed up in my studio over the last couple of years – sitting in there, painting and drawing and imagining life outside its walls. I started painting bunkers, lunar landers, suburban bungalows, and other “refuges” that I had read about in books or watched in movies as a child in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Quite a few of the shelters I’ve painted are on fire. I like the the idea of something slightly disquieting in an otherwise quiet life, like the halcyon days of my youth where I often found myself taking refuge in strange quarters.
As a student at Art School in the ‘90s I was taught by both Postmodernist and Modernist painters, and so am forever in an emotional wrestling match when painting. Part of me needs engage with the world (narrative) and the other part needs to engage with colour and form (paint for its own sake). Thinking about fire through this lens, the Modernist in me sees it as a blooming flower or ball of bright colour; the Postmodernist sees it as a narrative motif, a beacon or a signal for anyone out there looking for signs of life. The video for David Bowie’s Space Oddity was released in 1972, the year I was born. I can hear it now: it's time to leave the capsule if you dare.
Edmonton, March 2022
Opening Reception: Saturday, June 18
from 2 - 4 pm