My paintings are Nature Morte of flora. ‘After Rachel I’ is a response to memories of works by Dutch 17th Century Still Life painter Rachel Ruysch. These memories are translated into a contemporary pictorial language, linked through expressive colour, gesture and form.
I paint from memory, working directly onto the canvas. My desire to respond to the memory is eventually abandoned as intuition and spontaneity take over from linear rational thinking and the work writes its own narrative in the layers of paint and marks.
Compositional tensions arise through gestural marks juxtaposed next to carefully painted lines. Evidence of each layer is visible, revealing the painting’s journey. As the painting evolves I add and remove paint and turn the canvas to destabilise my process.
An interest in the passing of time is central to my work. Flowers are Memento Mori, they remind us of the ephemeral, fleeting nature of life. I think of painting as a time based medium, layers of paint are like timelines on a tree, each holding memories of marks and integral to the finished piece. For me painting is an ongoing conversation between past and present, an exploration of new forms from old imagery and narratives.
Emerging Artist Award Winner
“My work intends to bring Latinx life into contemporary art by celebrating the culture and highlighting family values. The narrative shows interior domestic scenes surrounding tables. Bright colours and decorative patterns are very characteristic of my works; in my pictures, portraits are always in the foreground and close to the viewer. Intense brushwork provides unique character combined with flat backgrounds to highlights emotion.”
Landscape/Seascape/Cityscape Category Award Winner
“Living on the coast I see our beaches, littered with plastic and rubbish. Beach cleans and picking up plastic waste goes hand in hand with the sea – yet within our bay, amongst the tangle of seaweed, plastic and detritus there is still beauty as this becomes the new normal. Although we know how bad the situation is, it is astonishing really the amount of plastic – the more you look, the more you see, until it just all becomes a jumble of colour and scrap.”
Portrait/Figure Category Award Winner
“In Les amoureux the bright contrasted colours and dynamic brush marks relate to the passionate embrace that is the theme of this painting. The two figures are locked together, the focus of intensity in the painting is on their connection and their bond is enhanced by the blocked in colour of the background that surrounds them and pushes them into one central form in the painting. My paintings consider themes of intimacy, unity, identity and the dynamics in human relationships.”
Animal Category Award Winner
“In my work, I always try to convey the feeling of the scene I am painting. Light and colour inspire me the most. No matter what subject I’m working on, I strive to capture the unique mood of the scene, keeping the painting as simple as possible so that unnecessary details don’t distract the viewer from absorbing the feeling of the scene.”
Still life/Botanical Category Award Winner
“I began this drawing at the end of 2020, scarred from a year of death, isolation, political divide, and social unrest — but also empowered with strength and hope for a brighter future. I finished the drawing on January 20th, 2021, the same day a new administration was sworn in as America’s new leaders. The image of this anemone is meant to represent the restoration of life and light as we begin to rebuild our health, communities, economies, and well-being in the coming years.”
Scenes of Everyday Life Category Award Winner
“For me, painting is a way of interacting with surroundings, and this is the best way for me than talking. I draw and paint instinctively, every day in any situation. I prefer oil paints for their plasticity and pasty brushstroke. Oil paints also allow you to use them to paint a picture for many sessions, or you can finish it right away depending on your mood. My paintings depict the ordinary life of the people I care about – my family and friends.”
Abstract/Non-representational Category Award Winner
“My practice reflects on ideas surrounding bodily perception of place alongside the nature of painting itself. In my work I look at the differences in how we navigate, both physically and imaginatively, three distinct realms: the bodily experience of an environment, the pictorial space of a painting and the space of written language.”
Outstanding Watercolour Award Winner
“I have returned to the pond of my childhood village. At the edge of a 70’s housing estate, surrounded by concrete, it was a place where dramas unfolded and friendships were lost. This large-scale watercolour is the backdrop for a courtship between two trees, animated through the act of painting.”
People’s Choice Award Winner
“My paintings are detailed and vibrant, often on a large scale they aim to reveal the hidden beauty of botanical subjects, exploring a view that isn’t seen with the naked eye. I find decaying subjects with flaws and imperfections more interesting than a perfect specimen, the process of ageing, wrinkles and fading beauty applied to the botanical world.”