ARTIST STATEMENT – Contemporary Landscape: An Attraction to an Endangered Environment
My current practice aims to challenge and confront our nostalgia for traditional landscape paintings which portray unrealistic, aesthetic and romantic views of the land and to highlight the causes and effects of the harm our earth experiences as a result of human neglect. It is easy to overlook and ignore the damage that is being done to our environment and to cling on to the image of an unpolluted landscape. My work explores an attraction to the beauty of nature and relies on it to expose the reality of the harm it is subjected to. Contrasting fragments of our natural landscape and imagery associated with environmental harm are brought together in a dialectical way so that they have a conversation. The imagery present together emphasises the fact that these images exist in the same environment and underlines the reality that the elements of unspoiled natural landscape may one day be lost and only a distant memory if the causes of its depletion are not acknowledged.
Throughout my current practice, my ideas are explored mainly through painting, drawing and collage. Collage is employed to create works in their own right and also to create amalgamations of imagery to be translated into painting. My work breaks the conventions of a typical landscape format and painting from collage incorporates many different perspectives but builds up a believable image where natural landscape beauty is not seperate from environmental issues. Some influences on my work include John Akomfrah, Dexter Dalwood and Keith Arnatt. Contrasting imagery of nature with snapshots of environmental toll highlights the realism of the landscape we are very much part of today.