I am an artist by nature and am drawn to painting emotionally. I paint because I love expressing myself through visual experimentation. Isn’t good art like passion? I feel it should not just be pretty, it should overwhelm and bruise or even confuse! I choose my medium to express what emotion I want to convey in each work. I source my inspiration from my own photographs as well as my imagination, magazines and the natural beauty around me; birds featuring a lot in my works.
Being a multidisciplinary artistI work in many mediums and sizes,I enjoy commissions as they push me out of my comfort zone and allow me to explore and use different colours and subject matters. My favourite subject has been the works of the exotic tribes in Africa called “Children of `Africa” series. I use a lot of goldleaf which seems to have become a common thread throughout my art, either on the fine art works or the more contemporary.
In these works I have tried to capture the essence and eccentricity of the ancient tribal traditions of East Africa, giving the subjects dignity and compassion .
Face painting has a very significant purpose and most tribes remain strict to these customs. The various colours, markings and head dresses are used to show their passage to maturity, coming of age and of the hierarchy in the Tribes. No man under a certain age may use black as decoration, this is allowed only by the chiefs and respected elders. The colours used on the young woman also all have great significance. Painting from photos allows my response to be completely subjective. If I paint fish, I feel like I’m In the ocean.Painting these portraits, I felt raw and dusty.
Many have commented on the sadness captured in the eyes of the subjects. This is true In some of them , however In most of the portraits I’ve tried to capture the whimsical and almost disdainful attitude to the Western photographer. These works need to be seen outside Africa as I feel they show a dignity and exoticism which Is on the verge of being lost to the rapid influence of foreign cultures.
My recent series “Birds of Emotion” are meant to brighten up anyones’s face. 2020 allowed a lot of darkness through and i am thoroughly enjoying the current use of much brighter colours.