I have, for my whole life, worked with wood and that has undoubtedly helped me with some aspects of woodblock printmaking. Although I have been making woodcuts for many years now, I am still continually excited by the potential of this ancient medium. Woodcut makes images that simply can not be made in any other way. It sits on the boundary between art and craft - and anyone making woodcuts will quickly experience the delights and terrors of both.
Developing a personal style has not been straightforward for me. I was aware, from the very beginning of my work, that a dichotomy existed between rigid control and chaotic freedom and could see that a ‘sweet spot’ lay between the two. Reliably finding this proved very elusive. Nobody who works with woodcuts can be unaware of the incredible work from China and Japan, where it is an art form traditionally rated as highly, if not higher, than painting. Whilst marvelling at the Eastern mastery, I wished also to be open to influence from European tradition.
My present work has found its own style from an experimental approach that I have been developing and which I am finding very exciting. It is rooted in an appreciation of flowing lines, and the energy that seems to arise from the discipline necessary to portray flow. I sense that at last I am at the gateway to where I wish to be going and I am really gratified by the recognition that my recent work is receiving.
Awards & exhibitions
May 2019. The print Shadow Falls has been selected by the Royal Society of British Artists for exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London and can be seen there from July 4th - July 14th, 2019.
My print ‘High Falls 1’ was selected in December 2017 for the winter exhibition of the International Print Center of New York and subsequently at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in London where the entire edition of 50 copies sold out.
Towards the end of the Royal Academy Exhibition, the distinguished academician and printmaker Norman Ackroyd RA selected four artists for a joint exhibition at the Zillah Bell Gallery in Thirsk. I was lucky to be one of the four artists selected, and had a wonderful visit to Thirsk for the private view, where I had the privilege and delight to meet John Bell and the other artists.
In October 2018, two of my prints, Horseshoe Falls 2 and Night Falls 2, were chosen for the Royal West of England Academy Open Exhibition.
In November 2018, I began a two month artist residency at Der Alter Schlachthof Kunst und Druckzentrum in Sigmaringen, Wuerttemburg, Germany. On the 30th December, in this place I will be presenting (in German) a discussion of my work and a one-man show.
In the UK, my work is represented by Paragon Gallery in Cheltenham and the Zillah Bell Gallery in Thirsk. In Germany my work is represented by Wenke Kunst gallery in Tuebingen. In the US, my agent is Sam Connor of Norwalk, Connecticut. In mid-October, Paragon Gallery took my work, along with that of other artists, to the Battersea Arts Fair where it was very well received and sold well.
Previously I have had work selected for open exhibitions in London, Bristol, Shanghai, Kunming and in Germany.
I like teaching and enjoy the pleasure that students find as they discover how powerful their own work can be. I am a short course tutor at West Dean College, near Chichester and at the Royal West of England Academy Drawing School in Bristol. I am co-author (with Merlyn Chesterman RE) of ‘Making Woodblock Prints’ published by Crowood Press. I also teach in Holland, Germany, Norway and locally to my home in the West of England.