Represented by

‘The Eyes of the Skin’

The first opening of my solo show at Benjamin Rhodes Arts in Shoreditch was packed with friends, artists, and collectors. I was very grateful for their support and well-wishes.

Difference between digital and real life

So many people had seen the invite and catalogue in printed form and online. I was struck by the many comments about the difference it made to see the work in real life. This really is the only way to appreciate the texture and physicality of the materials of any painting. Many of the visitors had not seen my work in the flesh for a long time. They said they were astonished by the blackness of the blacks and the way the surface of the drawings suggested painting. I strive for the paint to speak of something ‘other’, so it was great to hear that they were surprised by the presence of the paint, with layers and texture creating further intensity of colour and otherness. Digital photos on websites and in print can never create these sensations, despite working with the best photographers, designers, and printers.

My brilliant framers at Artmill advised white frames and museum glass so that nothing would get in the way of the surface of the drawings. This brings the image closer and increases the intimacy.

Live life through your senses

It’s so important to encounter art face-to-face. We must be able to stand in front of an original work so that it can speak to us. This is why galleries and museums play such an important role. I recommend The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses, an essay by Juhani Pallasmaa (2012) who encourages us to live our lives through all our senses.

I’m passionate about painting as a language because it stimulates our whole being, from the smell of the paint to the choice of colours and their associations, to the paint’s texture and weight, through to the actual content of the work. The size and scale will always take on a different narrative in relation to its surrounding space and what it is next to it. This is why curating is such an exciting skill. Curators can present objects in so many fresh ways – the possibilities are endless.

The importance of our galleries

Purchasing a work of art seems an extravagate commitment, and yet it is a declaration to be fed visually and sensually, in the intimacy of your own home, every day. There’s a slow poetical burn that has the potential to change how you see and live in the world. We all have walls around us – why not fill them with something that will nourish you? It is like having great poetry, literature, and philosophy nearby to dip into and awaken you to this beautiful and extraordinary world.

This has led me to consider the importance of the gallery space. The dealer helps to express the artists’ work by bringing people into the presence of the art and artist, encouraging them to have a conversation. I am so fortunate that Benjamin Rhodes really understands my vision and how the work needs to be read and seen. Through his hard work, each painting and drawing can take on a life of its own.

The show is on until the 24th June. I do hope you might be able to visit the gallery and enjoy the visual poetry of these twenty new pieces of work with a calm of mind, away from the bustle of the London streets.