If I was going to search for one defining imperative for my work, it would be Balance.
We go through our lives trying to navigate, to make the best of the conditions we are confronted with, and with the tools and skills we possess to achieve an optimum outcome. Balance might be seen as a state of equilibrium between opposing forces some of which we can control and some we cannot predict, manage, or prepare for. These forces shape the course and quality of our lives. Balance is where we exist at any moment in a dynamic spectrum. It follows a concept of “both / and” that allows for fertile modes of self-expression.
In terms of these paintings, their primary focus is to explore and ultimately express a sense of balance, on both an emotional and intellectual level. This sense of balance comes from observing the world that we live in, as well as developing a sense of what balance means as philosophical approach to existence and our relationships with each other. The use of form, texture, and color all conspire to share this sense of balance, which here is most often represented as calm, but can also be haunting with a deep sense of longing. It is an expression about a point of view on how one might relate to the world, and how this might make you feel. The work tries to tempt you into balancing your intellect with your emotions in a dynamic that approaches parity.
There are multiple references to contemporary painters in the work, and early efforts were an attempt to explore and reinterpret some aspect of their work, to follow the exercise of, understanding through the act of painting. Over time this developed into an equilibrium of influences. You spend time learning and absorbing what history offers you, and then at some point you let it all go and follow the flow of your creative muse.
While the watercolors emphasize emotional content, there is a narrative to each of these paintings, sometimes left intentionally obscure, which invites you to craft your own storyline. In that they all originated as daydreams, of places not in existence, places invented, and sometimes as a collective memory of places visited physically and through various media including photography, film, and literature … each watercolor is, in a sense, an unwritten poem, which has found expression visually, that invites you to inhabit your dreams.
This post forms part of our series on The Architecture Drawing Prize: an open drawing competition curated by Make, WAF and Sir John Soane’s Museum to highlight the importance of drawing in architecture.