Prima Materia

My work has always described a transition between two opposing worlds; figurative and abstract, chaos and order, dark and light, formation and dissolution. These depictions of liminal realms and moments of uncertainty now seem very apt given the circumstances of the last few months.

Through my artwork I've often tried to envoke in the viewer, what is known in Zen philosophy as, 'beginners mind'. Being able to sit with uncertainty and accept the feeling of not fully knowing what you are seeing - or what is happening in the world around you - is a practice that can help us face the turmoil of an ambiguous and fast changing world.

Like most of us at this strange time I had to open myself up to this uncertainty. For the early part of lockdown I allowed my routine to shift in a new direction and I took a break from going into the studio to paint. After allowing space for new ideas to arise I slowly developed a new body of work, now entitled 'Prima Materia'.

I have always used a form of digital collage to produce compositions that I then paint and draw from. Over the years I have collated a vast library of imagery taken from the Internet, from which I choose very specific forms to cut out, rotate, warp, recolour and resize, to build my compositions.

I often choose imagery taken from popular culture, especially imagery of high-end consumer goods. From flowing haute couture dresses to sparkling bottles of perfume, my aim is to transform them into transcendent Baroque landscapes that reach beyond their original materialistic consumer based origins.

My new series 'Prima Materia' uses this luxurious imagery in a similar way, but this time the elements are taken solely from pre-20th century paintings.
The compositions in the 'Prima Materia' series are assembled from elements taken from over 500 years of art history, spanning from the frescos of 16th century Italian High Renaissance to the exuberant still life paintings of the Flemish Baroque.

I'm a big fan of contemporary art, but it's always been the work of the Old Masters, such as Da Vinci, Titian, Bernini, El Greco, Velázquez, Caravaggio and Blake, to name but a few, that have had the biggest influence on my work.

The 'Prima Materia' series is a homage to their work, paintings that I find endlessly fascinating in composition, painting technique and narrative depth. By merging, transforming and reconstructing this imagery, I hope to reinvigorate the viewers appreciation for the details and forms present within these works, which can often be overlooked amongst their original narrative context.
The first three 'Prima Materia' limited edition prints can now be purchased by clicking the button below.

Share this post

Leave a comment

Note, comments must be approved before they are published