Briefly describe the work you do.
My concepts have evolved around the issues of external light and reflection, working with edges or fields of colour, using various media. The work depicts the energy and space of light in the landscape, this energy created by the meeting of two fields of colour, edges holding on and off one another, lines crossing entwining throughout, continually allow me to search and explore. The multi layering of the colour creates unique rhythms in each work. These reductive images with minimized colour, allow the viewer to experience the work as a sensed encounter of a place.
Tell us about your background and how that has had an influence on your work and on you as an artist.
I grew up on the West Coast of Scotland on the Isle of Islay, a remote place, but with rare beauty. I know this early influence to open space and light was imprinted in me and now comes through my work. The isolation and beauty of raw landscape combined with the silence of the surrounding, makes us feel quite humbled to be in its presence. Where water meets land there is a natural etched landscape created which has huge strength, even when calm. The stillness one finds in deeply remote places echoes loudly in our memory.
The concept of the artist studio has a broad range of meanings in contemporary practice. Artists may spend much of their time in the actual studio, or they may spend very little time in it. Tell us about your individual studio practice and how it differs from or is the same as traditional notions of “being in the studio.”
To me, physically being in the studio working, is where I make most of my work, I aim to get there everyday. However when not in the studio I am always working and conceiving, never far from a camera or with a notebook to hand. I live rurally and am exposed to fantastic light surrounding me most days, so in some ways I ‘live in my studio” as well. A keen walker I use this contemplative practice, as a part of my studio practice, being outside, feeling outside envelopes me to make the work.
What roles do you find yourself playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?
I had not thought about making my work with children but as a mother I find that seeing the world through their eyes opens up mine. They are still young but are learning to see the things I see, as well as their own vision, which we discuss which I love sharing as a family. My children continually bring me objects to inspire me, nests, leaves and stones and their own work!
When do you find is the best time to make art? Do you set aside a specific time everyday or do you have to work whenever time allows?
I tend to get to the studio in the mid morning and then stay until mid afternoon when my children come home, it does vary depending on our lives and schedules, sometimes I can only be in the studio for short periods but that time can help me be present with my work, I only paint in natural light.
How has your work changed in the past five years? How is it the same?
The work has primarily stayed on a similar focus but is continually growing. I am always trying new experimentation of various mediums and surfaces working them into my own practice, the work evolves all the time but I am still drawn to less is more.
How have people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers, other artists or even pop icons had an impact on the work you do?
My father was a quiet man who taught me to work on my own and to find my own way. Roger Ackling was my tutor at Chelsea Art School and his teaching pushed towards where I am now. I have been inspired by the work and writing of Sol LeWitt, Agnes Martin, Andy Goldsworthy, Gaston Bachelard and Colm Toibin to name a few, the list is endless and evolving.
Have you ever been pulled in the direction of a pursuit other than being an artist? What are your other interests?
I was a chef for 6 years before I went to art school and I cooked through my art college to earn money. I still love to create good locally sourced food and I am also a keen gardener.
All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.