Primitive Gallery

A lot of my art involves using the subconscious, as well as primitive or ancient influences to find deeper truths about the human experience. I am very interested in concepts that are common to the human experience things that we share with our ancient ancestors. In exploring these, I hope to understand more about our place in the universe, and the meaning of human concepts and the lives of individuals.

When I use improvisation, mythology, and psychological archetypes, the images tend to be simplified and stylistic in my attempts to extract the essential nature of a concept, at the same time as making it universal and flexible in its interpretation. I find the results are often reminiscent of some cave paintings and primitive or tribal art, and this in itself is an interesting discovery. Since much of this work stems from subconscious thought, it is as much a voyage of self discovery for me as it is a conscious expression of ideas and aesthetics.


Playing in the Woods

Playing in the Woods
2010, 101x76cm, 450

There is an ancient rock carving in the woods a short walk from where I used to live, and there is another one at Gardom’s Edge nearby. This painting is inspired by these two rock carvings.

I took my son to the woods to see the first one, and we wandered around the clearings and paths, playing with sticks and clambering over tree trunks. The patterns on the rocks made me think of the paths and clearings in the woods, and I tried to encorporate this experience into my painting.

Ancestors Watch from the Horizon

Ancestors Watch from the Horizon
2012, 51x51cm, 255

Settlement

Settlement
2009, 76x76cm, 385

Angel and Rosette

Angel and Rosette
2011, 61x51cm, 275

Possessions

Possessions
2005, 80x50cm, 350

This painting shows a man presenting his possessions. To us, they are meaningless shapes; two sticks and five blobs, but the patterns inside indicate the detail that he sees. To him, these objects have meaning; they are important. The figure is depicted in the same way; he contains much detail that links him to his possessions. The detail in his case reflects his internal structure.

I think I wanted to suggest the idea that things only have meaning in their relationships to other things, including people.

Also, I wanted to give another view to the 'things you own end up owning you' perspective that anti-establishment types such as myself often advocate. Certainly people tend to attach too much importance to the acquisition of wealth and property, but in many cases, the material things a person owns and values indicates a lot about the person. There is an important link there; in attaching meaning to objects, a person is expressing something about themselves.

This painting won the Pinder Prize at the 2006 Great Sheffield Art Show.

Spirit Crossing

Spirit Crossing
2009, 51x51cm, 255

Tower Man

Tower Man
2010, 51x76cm, 315

Two Dancing Figures

Two Dancing Figures
2009, 76x61cm, 365

Under the Sun

Under the Sun
2005, 99x52cm, 375

This painting won the Best Abstract Prize at the 2008 Art in the Gardens open art exhibition