Born in Aberdeen in 1964 I studied printmaking at Gray’s School of Art, graduating BA (Hons) Fine Art in 1986. I completed postgraduate study at The Royal College of Art in London gaining MA Printmaking in 1989 and six years later I returned to Aberdeen where I have lived and worked ever since. I have exhibited regularly throughout Scotland, including Open Exhibitions such as the Royal Scottish Academy, Royal Glasgow Institute, The Society of Scottish Artists and Visual Arts Scotland. My work has won various awards including the Shell Premier Expro Award, at Aberdeen Artists Exhibition in 1997.
Even though I started out as a printmaker my work always tended towards the layered, the constructed and the three dimensional. My degree show for example was an installation featuring large, free standing sheets of hand-made paper panels whilst many of my postgraduate prints depicted images of structures, containers and boxes. Since those early days these interests have evolved into my current practice in the form of boxed constructions where hand-made paper or pre-manufactured card or cardboard are ordered and organised in simple geometric compositions and relationships.
Although my constructions reflect a minimalist sensibility the making process is far removed from the machine aesthetic of Minimalism as the paper forms are all hand-drawn, hand-cut, hand-coloured and hand glued. A large part of my time is taken up with the mundane but necessary production of hundreds of sheets of hand-made paper from old newspapers. I depend on the characteristics and irregularities that such rough paper pulp provides and these qualities deflect from the otherwise uniform nature of the basic material. Other works are constructed using manufactured white card where variation comes through the repetitive process of cutting the same shape, over, and over again.
Mathematical precision, calculation and sequential ordering all figure within my process but there are no preparatory drawings to work from. The forms themselves evolve wholly through the process of cutting and stacking, with the combination of curves, straight lines, and geometric pattern, creating gently undulating surfaces that rise and fall like bumps, humps, hollows and ridges. Although the surface may appear solid from a distance it is of course simply made from edges and gaps. Whilst landscape terms do sometimes appear as titles these references are by association rather than specific source material.