I work in my print workshop in West Wales, on the edge of a wild moor, surrounded by lichened trees. I’m a Fellow of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers (RE). I am currently doing an MA in Fine Art at Aberystwyth School of Art.
My work grows out of the experience of observing the landscape and the process of translating this experience into print. As I work on my pictures, I want to evoke a single charmed moment out of time, a magical vision that stills. The scene is our ancient and enchanted landscape, roamed by guardian spirit-like animals, shadowed by woods where the holly springs green amongst the bare oaks and beeches.
I am inspired by the fairy tales I grew up reading, and by the motif of the quest in the medieval romance poetry I read during my English degree. I see it as a venturing outwards and also inwards, entering the wild unruly forest of trees and thorns, searching for a transforming glimpse of the white hart.
For me etching is a slow and reflective process. The image moves through many stages of biting in the mordant, as I add layers of line, texture, shadow and meaning, watching the image slowly become itself. I want the image to look like a weathered relic from the distant past, briefly come alive for us to see.
Etching is the ideal medium for my purpose, with its mysterious blacks and glowing, darkened whites. Working the metal plate to make it show delicate watercolour washes or deep dark gouged marks is endlessly fascinating.
I bite heavy time-worn textures into my plates using soft ground, either making shadowy layered transfer drawings with soft pencils, or impressing textures into the soft ground with cut, carved and scored collagraph plates, to give the feeling of an old woodcut. Then I like to take this flat impression and scrape and burnish the light back in, sculpting the metal. Painting cloudy washes of spit bite aquatint over the image brings it to life, gives it weather, frees the waters of the waste land.
I also make lithographs, drawing freely with crayons, pen and wash onto the lithographic limestone which I process with gum arabic and nitric acid to chemically fix the drawing into the stone and allow it to be repeatedly inked and printed. Lithography gives a painterly immediacy. It's such a direct and spontaneous approach to making an image and I find it complements etching really well. As it is such a fluid medium I am experimenting with printing the image as a changing series, developing the drawing with additions and subtractions through many states. I enjoy seeing the image accrue textures and tones; a palimpsest of thoughts building up. I add to this by overprinting layers drawn on different stones.
My print workshop lies under the shadow of the Preseli hills. I print my own work on my large and small Rochat etching presses.
I also have two direct lithographic presses and a large collection of stones.
2018 - 2020
MA Fine Art (Printmaking), Aberystwyth School of Art, Aberystwyth University
1994 - 1997
MA (Oxon) English, Brasenose College, Oxford
1993 - 1994
Art Foundation, Brighton College of Technology
Awards and Residencies
2019 First Prize, Remarque 6th International Juried Print Exhibition, Albuquerque, NM, USA
2019 Winner of the 2019 funded residency at Stiwdio Maelor, Corris, Wales
2018 Voted Printmakers’ Printmaker for Printfest 2019
2018 Eclogue I selected for RE ‘Print Rebels’ portfolio and touring exhibition
2018 Saxa Loquntuur Lithography Residency, Marcilhac-sur-Célé, France
2014 Canns Down Press Prize, RE Original Prints
2012 Zenith Purchase Prize, RE Summer Exhibition
2019 Forthcoming: Oct 7th - 15th Nov, Into the forest of the night, Aberystwyth School of Art
2017 In the forest, Cambridge Contemporary Art, a two-person show with sculptor Paul Smith
2013 Heartwood, paintings and prints, Art Jericho, King Street, Oxford
2019 Moon Gazing, Fitzroy House, Lewes, curated by Sarah O'Kane Contemporary Fine Art
2019 Drawing Now, Rye Art Gallery, Rye, East Sussex
2019 Print Rebels: Haden, Palmer, Whistler and the Origins of the RE, Aberystwyth School of Art Galleries, 28th Feb - 2nd May
2018 The Masters: Screen and Stone, curated by Chris Orr RA at Bankside Gallery, London
2018 Encounters Cymru at Impact 10 Print Symposium, Santander
2018 National Original Print Exhibition at Bankside Gallery, London
2018 Craft Centre and Design Gallery, Leeds
2017 Sarah Wiseman Gallery, Oxford
2017 London Original Print Fair, Royal Academy of Art, London
2017 West Dean Art and Craft Fair, West Sussex
2017 Printfest, Ulverston
2017 Affordable Art Fair, Battersea Park, London, with Hicks Gallery and Edition3
2016 Brighton Art Fair
2016 The Masters - Etching at Bankside Gallery, London, curated by Norman Ackroyd RA
2016 One of a Kind, an exhibition of monoprints at Emma Mason Gallery, Eastbourne
2016 Printfest, Ulverston
2014 Print selected by Norman Ackroyd RA for RA in Yorkshire at Zillah Bell Gallery
2014 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition
My work is in the collections of the British Museum, the Ashmolean Museum and HM the Queen.