The opportunity to explore and experiment with techniques and materials across mediums is fundamental to my practice as a multidisciplinary artist. My work often combines a traditional format in sculpture or painting with exploratory techniques and non-traditional surface treatments. Knowledge of drawing, painting, glass, fiber, wood, stone, clay and metal is applied to create new and innovative combinations. The examination of contemporary environmental and social issues is a recurring theme in my work.
Recent work has involved creating sculptures and paintings using acid and heat patination techniques on copper to colour and etch into the surface. Design and composition are based on research and testing. Pattern-making, drawing and painting skills are key to the working process, however, paint and other pigments are rarely added. Most work has been created using household ammonia, table salt and tap water as ‘paint’, applied with natural and household materials to the copper in stages. This results in beautiful blue salt deposits and detailed etchings which may be further modified with a torch, a process requiring constant vigilance as the artwork rapidly changes and transitions.
Wabi-sabi is a Japanese philosophy often described as accepting and appreciating the beauty of transience, impermanence and imperfection; of something that lasts only a short time and is constantly changing. The pureness and thickness of the copper, the concentration of ammonia salts, and humidity in the air, temperature and minerals in the tap water rinse; these all have a bearing on the outcome yet are beyond control. I’ve learned to embrace Wabi-sabi, the beauty of imperfection to enjoy the transitional process, the journey on the way to becoming.