United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
My love of painting began when I was at school: I had a very good Art teacher who encouraged his pupils to express themselves individually through paint. I clearly remember the thrill when he asked if I would like to be his assistant on a commissioned portrait of the Headmaster, doing some work on the great man’s jacket!
After 4 years studying Fine Art at Camberwell School of Art in London I was awarded a first class B.A. Honours degree followed by a two year postgraduate course at Reading University which gave me an M.F.A. degree in Fine Art. On the strength of my final show I won a travelling scholarship from the Slade School of Art in London and chose to visit New York to learn more about American Abstract Expressionism.
This was a great eye-opener as it showed me the sense of scale and freedom of expression in works by Pollock, de Kooning, Kline and Rothko. My style still reflects this interest in Expressionism because the paintings start very loose and abstract and I then gradually extract and pare down the image, working intuitively and allowing the marks of colour to suggest the way forward. I’m particularly interested in the art and culture of Morocco and India and I find great inspiration from visiting these countries, meeting the people and studying their art. India was my country of birth so I think Indian colours are in my blood. I also like the dry heat and sandy light of the desert so Rajasthan in India and the Berber villages bordering the Moroccan Sahara are favourite areas for me.
I suppose my stylistic approach is semi-abstract, as I like the paintings to have recognisable elements in them, but I also value the freedom to invent, so I allow ambiguous and illogical things to happen with the handling of space.
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