My work explores the themes of animal hybrids caused by either genetic engineering, forced or natural evolution and also I have looked at alien animal wildlife. Themes I have recently explored are what living creatures and wildlife may look like on other worlds. I have also looked at the idea of ‘social rejection and absence’ where the very notion of something that is classed as ‘different’ is soon rejected in both the human world and in the animal kingdom. I am also exploring social exclusion. Indeed, when one animal is different from this rest, it is literally almost rejected straight away by the group or family that it is supposed to belong to. When this happens even amongst humans, there can be devastating consequences for the one that is abandoned. The rejected creature can also start to behave in a manner that is not classed as socially acceptable as is with humans.
I am trying to communicate the idea of being the social ‘outcast’, what it feels like to be an ‘outsider’. Such as it is in the animal kingdom. The mother rejects it and then so does its siblings. Such coldness in the animal world is also sadly reciprocated here in the world of human beings. The effects of being ‘different’ can have devastating consequences. The ’reject’ or ‘outsider’ can build feelings of resentment, especially when labelled as ‘dumb’ then the loner can actually turn on their peers when provoked.
Indifference is poison. Poison can kill and dissolve. When something is ignored, when someone receives no followers, it becomes invisible and unrecognizable. This is one of the effects of feeling ‘other’.
In terms of fine artists that I look at here, I am influenced by makers of the contemporary field such as science fiction illustrators Wayne Barlowe, Roger Dean and Rodney Matthews to contemporary fine artists such as Charles Avery, John Stark, Kate Clark, Thomas Grunfeld and Richard Wathen. I am also interested in the work of Renaissance artists of the 1400s Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Brueghel. I am also keen on some 20thCentury surrealists Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte to name a few.