After a childhood engrossed in projects involving both fibre and fine art, I entered college to study surface design for textiles, only to become inspired to paint. In emulating the work of artists, Eric Fischl, David Salle, Joanne Tod and Attila Richard Lukacs, the required validation of each representational element within the canvas, made the practice of painting a laboured task. At the same time, Saatchi & Saatchi exhibited a traveling collection of abstract art coined ‘Neo - Geo’. “Ultrasurd”, showed paintings that were free of narrative imagery. I chose to apply this approach to fibre arts first, through screen printing and crocheting, before transferring this sensibility to painting.
Influenced by the work of Sarah Charlesworth, I photographed and projected an African Mask to complete 20 paintings. In the process, I experimented with realism and decoration, adopting colour and graphics from 1950’s textiles. Eventually the image of the mask was reduced to outlines of shadows. The practice of filling lines with wiggly stripes of colour, similar to yarn, offered a direction in painting with endless experimentation.
From 1992 to 2003 I was employed as a hand weaver for a coat manufacturer. In order to incorporate the experience of weaving into the practice of painting, order and repetition, elementary to the process of weaving, was applied to the placement of colour. By using a strict regiment to arrange colour: a certain number of colours, a certain order in which to repeat the colours, and marking out grid combinations using curved templates, an effect similar to woven fabric occurred.
My paintings are often compared to the work of ‘Op’ artist, Bridget Riley. While Riley uses elements of graphic design and colour theory to achieve her optical effects, the visual manipulation or ‘Op’ effect of my paintings, occurs out of circumstance, the result of a process bound by restriction. For example, by repeating a sequence of colour placed in order from dark to light, following the placement of the four darkest colours, the painting essentially paints itself, magically producing an optical effect.
After graduating from Ontario College of Art in 1989 I was fortunate to participate in artistic endeavours presented by the artist collective Painting Disorders. My work has been included in many group and solo exhibitions, from artist run initiatives to public and private galleries including Art Gallery of Ontario, Power Plant (Toronto), Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver), Edmonton Art Gallery and Albright-Knox Art Gallery (Buffalo). My work is represented by Wynick/Tuck Gallery in Toronto.
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