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Artist Statement

I am a visual artist from Kingston upon Hull, exploring Hull’s industrial and urban scene through painting, drawing, and printmaking.

 

My current practice revolves around creating textured, semi-abstract oil paintings, often in multiples or as a series, to reflect and glorify Hull’s historic industrial landscape. Within these areas, I am captivated by the geometric structures and the negative spaces between them, as well as the weathered, crumbling surfaces, and how these areas are modernising and urbanising around an environment that has existed for decades.

 

Using a monochromatic palette, my work combines the grittiness of plaster, with the fluidity of paint and white spirit, in order to create a stylized representation of Industrial Hull. By embracing the versatile nature of oil paint, I am able to build up multiple layers of paint, using a combination of thin paint, thick paint, line and gestural brush strokes, in which I then use white spirit and a cloth to partly erase areas, before working back into them. This approach allows me to achieve the balance I am looking for, whilst encouraging me to embrace the accidental marks and drips, that often occur when painting on a larger scale.

 

The use of texture is integral to my work, as it creates a strong connection to the industrial subject matter. During the process of manipulating plaster in order to create texture, I am constantly thinking about the sorts of textures and marks I have experienced when walking around industrial areas.

 

As my painting practice has developed, it has become clear that I paint more naturally when working in monochrome. I feel that a monochromatic palette is the most appropriate to represent industrial Hull, as it creates an almost foggy effect, very much like the atmosphere within Hull’s industrial scene. The monochrome appearance also creates a sense of nostalgia, which is important when considering the history behind Hull’s industrial landscape.

 

Ultimately, my work aims to provide recognition to areas that are of significant interest to myself, as well as significant importance to Hull’s history and heritage.

 

In the past, my practice has centred around Hull’s urban areas, including its city centre and Queen Victoria square. Within these areas, I am captivated by: the detailed Victorian architecture, the historic windows and doors, the sculptures and statues, the power lines, the tram lines, the cobbled roads, and also how modern-day buildings stand beside old town buildings. When studying these areas, I experimented with a range of mediums including acrylic, gesso, and mono-printing, all of which consisted of a purely monochromatic palette.