artists / curators / writers
Date of birth 18.Jul.83
Place of birth North Yorkshire
Country of residence United Kingdom
Although seemingly half a century out of date, the ideas of the mountain film and hiemat still reverberate today and are more relevant than ever. This new body of work I have commenced can be compared within such a context. In our urbanized society populations continue to be dismembered. Traditional ways of life and cultural values continue to be lost forever all over the world. Their-for a new generation is finding pleasure and solace in such cinematic images of romance and cozy escapism in to the wild. As a mountaineer myself, I prescribe whole heartily to the restorative effects of loosing ones self in the sublime expanses of natures lofty peaks.
Once more out-door clean living has been rediscovered, and I have chosen to blatantly glorify this in my melodramatic pictures and sweeping romance vistas. The work is in part, imagined lost scenes from such films, where due to the lapse of time, people fade in and out of existence but the forest remains. This transience of being reflects my own experience of nature where ones self existence is not permanent and can be lost without any warning. Perhaps individual people cease even to be relevant when one considers the enormity of creation?
These transformations are set against the backdrop of an unblemished European, primeval black forest and alpine vistas. The filmic tales of hiemat were very much moral in their plot to imbed a new belief system in a traumatized populace. My work comments on such past exploits and its hope full good intent with a sinister sense of foreboding, using gloomy unnatural light to fill my paintings with hopefull yet flawed realities. Figurative zeitgeists and fading doppelganger rose women populate these worlds and appear to be being reabsorbed into the earth from whence they came. National dress and costume plays with the notion of timelessness in such narratives in a nether region of time and space much in same way as my work is composed from hybrid images clipped from past memories/ places I have visited or experienced in an analogue way using books and postcards to explore when personal presence is not a reality.This imagery is painted on the canvas using much the same techniques and processes of cinematic matte paintings from the 1950ís and 60ís where actual paintings were filmed to extend a scene or mountainscape whilst layering the actors actions over the top.
Now, at the beginning of the new millennium, a new flight from reality is under way, a new yearning for an intact world (hardly surprising in view of the present economic crisis).The heimat films of the fifties are in any case a fascinating subject: for the pleasure which they brought to large audiences and still do,(my self included) as also for the critical distance required in order to understand their enmeshment with the zeitgeist. One thing is clear: the idyllic landscapes of that time are in touch with people's dreams.They still spirit us away into worlds, which are better than the world we live in.