I paint to make sense of things and in particular I am interested in the many ways that people communicate identity - a sense of who they are and how they fit into the scheme of things. Recently,
at a festival, I was amused by a barber’s stand where the main pursuit was pognotrophy - the art of cultivating and grooming beards. Why has the beard once again become so fashionable? Throughout the centuries it has been used to convey social status, gravitas, piety, male virility, social conformity, social non-conformity and simply to follow the current fashion.
This collection of tiny works is an abstract observation of bearded faces - each has a story which
forms their identity and the way each wears their beards enhances this identity.
I want the physicality of paint to play its part as it slips and slides across the surface, loaded on and wiped off until the image is anchored to its form. It is important to me to convey a sense of immediacy, brevity and transience, perhaps reflecting the ideas that identities are an ever-shifting paradigm.