My journey as a painter began in 1987 and has focused on exploring our waking dreams and our public and private myths through my art on canvas, paper and mixed media. Outside of exhibitions, I have been widely published in international magazines and journals of poetry, politics and culture in various fields. I contribute ideas and concepts with others in collaborations that help me generate original hybrids.
Writing about the importance of art and creative thinking in the public and private consciousness has become an extension of my visual art practice. These ideas focus on the opportunities and risks that creative energies bring to society and our individual problems and challenges.
Art has been at the heart of politics, literature, science and our spiritual quests for centuries, so this is not exactly new, however I find that for a global society we still fail to connect the dots between art and the rest of life. Understanding all about that is a part of my process as a painter.
I'm fortunate to have receieved a good education, and work as a researcher and writer in other sectors to earn a living. This interface between my art and research is something that has always been there. So when I add my more personal experiences to this questioning process, the images on my canvases develop a look of their own that many have told me is outside of many contemporary art styles.
Mixing painting styles on canvas is also a hallmark of my work, as well as developing a series of paintings that are sometimes inspired by a theme, object or person. I have combined stencils with collage and acrylic brush painting while blending images with text.
Born in the UK, I began working as a typographer and designer after studying graphic design in Perth, Western Australia. While working as a designer I continued to paint, but it was not until I worked in a small art gallery in the 90s, combining practical learning from my peers with academic study, that I understood that painting was my ‘thing’.
After completing my BA in History, and later a First Class Honours in Sociology, I began an unusual journey collaborating between the worlds of academia, art, politics, music and the company of strangers. This happened more often after 9/11 and for a while my paintings became very involved with what was happening in the world politically and socially. That phase lasted about a decade.
This last phase did lead me to some interesting experiences such as presenting at international intervention workshops in the UK in 2012; painting portraits of a quantum physicist and a politician, and more recently exploring the collision between artists and a jurisprudence of new capabilities for the London Progressive Journal in 2013. I became very interested in the way science and art interact along the way. I also continued my experimental nature, mixing media and themes together on the canvas in a way that I hope pushed the boundaries of the painting process.
In 2013 I held my 5th solo exhibition titled The Assassination of Judy Garland (2008-12), in which I showed the results of this last series. I explored a metaphorical portrait of America, and tried to make sense of the current global political crisis using a queer cultural lens. The visual language was inspired by American magazine illustrations from the 1930s and 1960s pulp paperback novels. Developing this into an original visual language was hugely enjoyable.
The series completed a decade long body of work that examined the motives behind the post 9/11 war on terror narrative. It included my 2006 exhibition Sedition and Other Bedtime Stories, and various interviews writings and journal articles. I take a year or two break between exhibitions and am in that period now. I still write and publish and upload these in between exhibitions. Thank you for viewing my work and I love hearing from people. Take care. Carl