I use film, drawing, painting, performance and installation to present work, but often the work has its beginnings in working with other people – be that artist collaborators, community groups or school children. These dialogues help me explore alternative ways of seeing or engaging with the world; be that real or imagined.
Through playing with and challenging everyday assumptions – theirs and mine – I want to question the personal control, respect and ethics that underpin a humane and open society. It gives me a way of interrogating the legitimacy of historical ’empirical’ facts and looking at this accepted knowledge. Humour, and the ability to collectively reflect on the absurdities around us is a powerful tool for talking about larger issues.
I seek to understand and explore our inherent desire for subjective utopian visions, and find ways to pull those desires apart within the context of contemporary society. For me it offers a way of rethinking and re-linking the relationships between art and society.
My participatory work is a big part of my practice and is developing further through commissions and through my involvement in the development of a nomadic school, with several other artists, for disadvantaged people aged 17-25. I am currently working on two public art commissions that are based within and in response to communities.
Recent works have included a project called The Days of Brexit & Bregret, a series of posters (Transition Gallery) that play with common and humorous conflicting news reports during the EU referendum vote, this has continued, and will continue as the story unfolds in the news and has recently shaped work created in Argentina (URRA residency) which includes not only a series of 2D works but a film shot on location in the delta. This analysis of the people in power was presented as a performance considering manipulation and politics as a ranting crow Crow Jane Blues (Test Space, Spike Island) and as an exploration of the influence of Western society on the East resulting in a series of performances and a film produced in Chengdu and Chongqing, China (Up on, Live Art Festival). I produced Chew Chew, (Plymouth Art Weekender) which was subsequently part of Selected 6 shortlisted by Film London and Jarman Award which exposed gender imbalances in historical chewing gum ad campaigns; and most recently a body of collaborative work, Mimbre, produced while in Argentina on the URRA International Artist Residency programme which used stereotypical touristic ignorance to play with perceptions of place and explore fake news.
In 2015 I first performed several pieces from a series of Interviews with myself…(Chapter, Cardiff) which is a continuing series that allows me to analyse and question my working practice and am working on a series of publications presenting and expanding on the various projects I’ve undertaken as part of this process.
Over the last four years I have exhibited at Whitechapel, Baltic, Spike Island, Nottingham Contemporary, Mostyn, Chapter, Tate Modern and Liverpool Biennial and have worked on projects supported by HLF, ACW, BBC, Cadw, The Space.