I find it incredulous to think how many times I have bent over to pick up the many thousands of pieces of plastic debris that made up that aspect of my art, each piece jostled around for an unknown duration by sand, sun and ocean, their form altered, faded and rounded by the elements.
It has led me to a deep sense of care and concern for our environment which is underpinned by an excitement of the creative possibilities of working with recycled materials and has had me over the years, offering to the viewing public original and unique works from my studio.
The culmination of this maturation and the epiphanies around my work in the form of dramatic re-assessments in my aesthetic vision sent me later looking for driftwood on a shoreline in Victoria, which then directed me to this exciting new medium of found objects. It’s not necessary for all artists to have to experience such a dramatic incident as having a fire in a studio to bring about a major change in their outlook on life. Some artists instinctively do this in the process of their work in the studio. This is how it happened for me and it left an indelible imprint, which has continued to this day.
A more complete list should also include American abstract expressionist Jackson Pollock and later Roy Lichtenstein and more recently Jeff Koons, Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. I resonate particularly these days with Pat Stiers work, Lynda Benglis and Louise Bourgeois. I was influenced as well by the Australian artists Tony Tuckson, Brett Whiteley and Ian Fairweather, primarily due to the energy that their work conveys.
Exposure to international art in London and Europe, in the early eighties, encouraged me to pursue my career as a full time artist. One defining moment was experienced at the Tate Gallery in London, nineteen eighty-one. In a gallery space devoted to Mark Rothko, the American abstract expressionist, I experienced the depth of and commitment in his work.
This stylistic approach is best described as an offshoot of Surrealism. It was at this point that I visited the National Gallery of Victoria to see an exhibition of modern masters from Europe, which included Salvador Dali and other artists who I had never seen before. I was intending to write about this exhibition in my end of year exam.