My COVID19 isolation series commenced on the 3rd April 2020. I am now in lock-down in Sydney Australia due to the virus. Australia, like most of the countries in the world, is trying to slow the virus down in order to prevent it from overwhelming the hospitals. At this point a couple of weeks in, with some cities recording 2000 deaths per day we are all fearful of contracting the virus and are self-isolating in the hope of avoiding encountering the virus.
While in isolation, I’ve had time to think about how the current events make me feel. The fear, the warnings, the eerie empty streets and the distrust of the people near you. I wanted to capture the social distancing measures and considered how to portray them in a single graphic using ‘Key’ words from the media.
I was influenced by ‘graffiti style’ art when I recently flew to Miami USA in December 2019 to exhibit in Birds Grassland series at Miami Art week ; Art Basel. It was fantastic to participate in the giant Art Show. One of my favourite pastimes was walking the streets in my lunch break… I just fell in love with the fantastic street art. I’d walk around photographing and studying the vibrant works. I remember thinking I'd love to try my hand one day when I get time…Isolation has afforded me a great opportunity to try something new. I plan to only create these works for a short time to try out a new style alongside my usual environmental art.
I feel that artwork from COVID 19 era will be very important in the future by motivating people to ask ‘what happened’? We will explain that virtually within a week the whole world shut down, governments made new punitive laws for people to isolate, disinfect, wear masks and stay home.
These works are now being exhibited at Persues Gallery, New York and also represented on Artsy website. see links below
In July 2020 I have now reumed painting the Grasslands series, developing the series into wearable art. With no exhibitions in sight due to Covid19 virus with international travel being halted and the Australian borders are closed. I decided to train myself during the closure time to turn my creations into fabric print; this lead to designing apparel and homewares.
Grassland Series artist statement
I create contemporary semi-abstracts. My style is quite unique as it combines two artistic styles. I have blended contemporary abstract oil painting with traditional realism watercolour. I delight in combining these genres as I love the softness of the watercolour in contrast to the vibrancy of the oil paint. I also enjoy the contrast of the Realism and Abstract movements.
In this body of work I hope to encourage a connection to the environment. In their non-disturbed state grassy plains are magnificent, and vibrant parts of biological tapestry. Once covering vast tracts of the continent’s plains. The grassland are now among the most vulnerable and endangered habitats due to urbanization. I express the rugged beauty by focusing on the birds and animals that live in this environment. I include birds such as Sparrows, Eagles, Parrots Crows and Ravens to bring energy, create interest and narrative.
I would describe my own personal style as continuously creating tension in the artwork. I achieve this through the combined use of premediated realism and abstract improvisation, where the realism is used as a measure of my ability and the abstract work displays my artistic expression. I also create tension in the painting though a juxtaposition of styles, combining a range of traditional painting mediums such as oil, watercolour and acrylic paint together in the same painting. I particularly enjoy the contrast of the vividness of the oil paint against the softness of the watercolour. Often the final varnish is also used as a tool to create contrast with ultra-gloss used alongside matte varnish. I believe this technique serves to make a powerful painting and stamps my own style.
People are growing aware of the need to protect our coral reefs, our forests and our grassland plains. Our environment is being discussed more and more, and I hope to stimulate care and concern for this beautiful habitat in this collection of works.