My art began in the back of school notebooks, where dissent and creative impulse could find expression. I have often rejected formal instruction, partly through my own fears and also a mistrust in the system. Drawing was a private world and I was free to explore the boundaries of my imagination.
As a child I soaked up the bright colours of comic books, particularly Tin Tin, Asterix, and the books by Dr Seuss. The graphic images in newspapers in the early 70’s led me to appreciate photojournalism, and the dramatic possibilities of black and white photography. I later discovered the work of Ralph Gibson and Bill Brandt.
My simple drawing style sprang to life after a trip through Mexico. While living in the USA, the high desert landscapes of New Mexico, with earthy adobe and contrasting blue sky, had a mystical quality that fed into my art. The clear light and theatrical colour, encouraged me to work with Polaroid photography. I also used oil pastels at that time, and later came across designers gouache, which supplied the vibrant colours I needed. I was seeking a poetic, ecstatic truth that could reveal my experience, and myself.
In South Africa, I have found inspiration in the landscape of the Karoo. Helen Martins and her ‘Owl House’, are close to my heart, encompassing her sad and beautiful world.
While drawing, I like to keep close to the process of creation, simple and playful, open to chance and accident. A lot of my drawings are spontaneous, with little or no reworking. I want an authentic expression in the moment, like calligraphy or a great photograph.
The forms in my drawings are sculptural, and my perspective is informed by a number of years working in the construction industry. I have produced large steel sculpture, which is laser cut and then powder coated. The steel work includes wall sculpture, and recently a limited edition fire bowl. Currently I am working in wood, and hand paint the work in oil or acrylics. I have also worked with ceramics, making hand built pots, and slip casting work of my design.
Literature, poetry, film and art history have steadily informed my understanding and working process. Recent artists whose work I admire include Picasso, Duchamp, Frida Kahlo, Ellsworth Kelly, Howard Hodgkin and Peter Doig. I find inspiration in the cinematic work of Werner Hertzog, Jim Jarmusch and the Cohen brothers. In South Africa, I must mention Norman Catherine, Simon Stone, Marlene Dumas and Roger Ballen.
The movement and flow of drawing, has parallels to the activity of swimming. I have been a competitive swimmer, coach, and around water most of my life. Connecting with the senses, and the use of fine attention, leads to a contemplative state of being. This connection and experience is reflected through my work.
I was born in Durban in 1960, and have lived most of my life in Johannesburg. I have a studio and gallery in Nieu Bethesda. My work is available from Lizamore and associates gallery in Johannesburg, and Art@Africa gallery in Cape Town.