Can you tell me about your practice? How do you get started on a piece of work?
The thinking behind my practice started from a study into letterforms and how their shape is affected by the tools used when painting letters. I started making my own tools to explore these questions further. I've also been thinking about language and different ways of reading and writing, or abstracting text in order to get to forms that become a visual language. These forms get repeated again and again until they become almost like a muscle memory. I've also been thinking about the connection between text and textiles, like how weaving structures could be used for writing. Or text and magic, like spells and spellings.
In the end, I find that all of the works and ideas are connected with one another, so a new piece of work usually always begins from a learning or observation in the previous work.
Who are your biggest influences?
I'm very inspired by textiles, like weaving and quilting. The logics of quilting like reusing materials and transforming them, or the interconnecting threads in weaving. In this way Anni Albers is a big inspiration.
Can you talk about the role that your handmade tools play within your paintings?
The tools started from an investigation into the nature and behaviours that are ingrained in tools and systems, and understanding how they want to move, or how they make my body move. Through these limitations, behaviours, and movements, certain shapes and lines emerge which are a result of how the tools intrinsically "want" to draw.
All of these tools were making parallel lines, and these lines now are an important thinking point in my work too. Lines are a constant unit across all the work, and these function in different ways. Sometimes the lines function as traces or a path, sometimes a group of lines gets transformed into a surface, or sometimes the lines become a grid to write with.
How important is material in your work?
Paper is one of the key materials I use, and it's become so important in the way that it has taught me how much potential there is in such a humble material. There are so many types and textures and weights. It can change a lot when painted. It's so versatile. It's a flat surface but then it becomes dimensional once I use scissors to cut it into shapes. Or it can be made into paper pulp to make sculptural objects and it becomes very solid. It's one of those materials that is so simple yet is always giving. I like wondering what else I can do with it or how else can it behave.
What is your most important tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?
Probably my sketchbooks. I've been working on sketchbooks for many years, and I enjoy seeing how the pile of them gets bigger and bigger over time. They're always A3, blank, soft cover, and I usually finish one every month or two. I use them in order not to think too much and just make, and they're also how I learn and make new observations. I also use them as reference to go back and understand how some ideas came about, and to understand the connections between thoughts.
Can you give us a book recommendation that has been important in your practice? And tell us why it’s important.
Tim Ingold's 'Life of Lines' has been very important as a way of thinking about lines conceptually, how we are bound by lines, how we follow and create lines, the different types of lines and how we can think with them.
'Art & Fear' by David Bayles and Ted Orland is also a short yet very important book that I keep coming back to whenever I'm struggling or facing some inner fears that come with making art.
And finally 'The Stroke: Theory of Writing' by Gerrit Noordzij has been so influential from the beginning when thinking about tools, strokes, body, and letterforms.
Finally, is there anything new coming up that you would like to tell us about?
I have a solo show coming up in May at Kupfer gallery here in London which I'm very excited about, as I'm working with a great curator and friend of mine, Inês Geraldes Cardoso on it, and it'll be my first solo show.
Image order: All image courtesy of the artist.
Years and years and
Pencil fingers tool
Paper tapestry 2