My current practice delves into the fascinating world of the natural reclaiming and recycling of life, a theme I have consistently been transfixed upon. Dark imagery supports a more positive narrative and ideal of death and decay being pulchritudinous, palatable and an important transition of life. My recent experiences with grief (the passing of both my grandmothers) has forced me to meet with the concept of death in a way I have not experienced before. Rather than an observer of grief and loss I find myself to be an active participant in this often difficult and confusing rite of passage. Navigating this emotional period has inspired a new perspective on old ideas, and begun a new era in my creative life.
Through this body of work I explore my own profound interest and complex relationship with death. My practice has always been centred around the morbid, it evolving as I grow and experience the world, reacting obviously with events and milestones of life. Horror I find to be a catalyst for expression of my emotions, positive and negative. It is cathartic and expressive, and allows for emotion like anger, grief and sadness to be unpicked and understood. I believe death is one of natures most fined tuned and impressive process; it allows everything to be reclaimed and recycled into new life. Perceiving death in this light allows for processing of my own grief and loss.
I have continued to develop my paintings in oil, I find the smooth, soft finish complements my style and concepts well, allowing me to explore these ideas of ‘attractive unattractive’ while keeping the imagery easy to view. Developing a more complex colour palette has allowed for me to explore the different avenues of emotion associated with loss and death, not just the bitter, angry points of view, making way for a more interesting visual narrative. Blue and teal particularly produce a more mellow aura than reds and flesh tones, allow for the difficult topics I try and discuss in my work to be more palatable visually. I do not wish for this new body of work to be shocking, rather a positive conversation about the end of life. I have looked to american artists Shanna Van Maurik and Lauren Marx particularly for inspiration; both discuss decay and natural death in their work, using beautiful colour palettes and enchanting imagery. The work is dark but synonymously so appealing. I would like to continue on these new themes as I continue to make work. It has been very cathartic for me to discuss these topics through art, and aided me greatly in overcoming grief.