The inarticulate moment, charged with meaning.
That quickening sense of something happening, before words arise. Or beyond language altogether.
At the back of the mind. On the tip of the tongue. Something sensed or glimpsed, but just out of sight.
This growing edge of realisation is both the subject and the process of the work.
Figurative visual depiction could illustrate the physical context - the wrapper, if you will - of such pre-verbal experiences. But not the core.
The degree of abstraction in my work speaks of a texture, a tenor, of experience termed poetry/poetics. The ancient root word is poesis: literally, coming-into-being.
The paintings result from a sub-verbal interplay between external visual cues, and improvised mark-making, erasures and additions, until they settle into resolved abstract form.
Their visual language is generated by the intersection of external environment and interior landscape, at the borders between sensory perception and language.
This visual language includes veils of translucent watercolour, gouache and acrylic, and screens of illegible script, which obscure clear seeing and resist identification. Marks in the landscape, showing human activity, pattern-like markings in nature, and cuneiform tablets in the British Museum underlie the script-like elements. Random movements in drying paint, and cutting, tearing and collage further disrupt the literal and create new relationships between forms.
Elements of direct visual experience linger in the paintings' colours and forms. The work always develops from observation to abstraction. Occasionally, I even still make a precise, figurative drawing as part of the process, because it re-calibrates the visual senses.
But my work has long shown more interest in the things we can't see than things we can.