I spent most of my school years being examined or excluded for behaviour that was inherent to me. It wasn’t until I was able to re start my education taking up college studies in Visual Communication that I found my calling. I developed an enduring interest in typography. Before Apple Mac computers, armed with a Letraset and a photocopier, I started looking at the correlation between the physical and social aspects of decay and movement in the industrial towns of the North which I worked and grew up in and the communities and industry and the aesthetic representation of this in the decayed lettering and typeface styles of signs and tags and anything else which had lettering involved.
Searching dilapidated buildings and structures which were usually thick with Graffiti for interesting backrounds and textures to reproduce. I had been introduced to Graffiti at 12 by a chance encounter on a beach with a Graffiti writer who featured in the seminal book Spraycan Art. This sparked a passion for letters and an interest in communication through art, from mainstream advertising through to the misfits and outcasts of the subcultures in which I felt I belonged. I now enjoy pushing the boundaries of type and legibility as far as I can. Due to ADHD my work can be very spontaneous
My work today is an application of styles and processes I can and can’t control. Exploring the contrast between total chaos and the strictest of disciplines. Striving for balance between the drips splashes and distortion and the forms of the letters. The writing sometimes takes on an aesthetic sensibility rather than an actual representation of communication. Using words and letters as composition rather than the need for comprehension.
These pieces for ACBF are mixed media on ordinance survey maps which I found in a metal filing cabinet in a scrap yard in Manchester. I’ve called the series Maps of the Mind. It focuses on ideas of shame V honesty around mental health issues and my own journey through Mantra and positive repetition.