London, The Porpoise & Work in Progress

May 2019

I don’t usually write a monthly summary, but, there’s a lot to share this month. I’ll start by announcing a move to London. I’ll be splitting my time between the city, and my studio in the Scottish Borders. Please do get in touch if you’d like to know more. I’ve not yet set up a full studio in London, but when I do I’m more than happy to accept visitors. Work continues for upcoming show As Coastline is to Ocean, despite the move.

May also marks the launch of Mark Haddon’s The Porpoise. Last year I was approached by Suzanne Dean (Penguin/Vintage) and asked to work with her on the design of the covers. I elaborate on the process in a previous blog post. The Porpoise is now available in hardback and digital formats, I’d highly recommend this powerful & utterly immersive novel. The audiobook is brilliantly narrated by Tim McInnerny.

From audiobooks to podcasts: earlier this month I was interviewed by Work in Progress podcast about art, life and environmental issues. I discussed Rising Horizon, As Coastline is to Ocean, working on The Porpoise and more. Hear the whole episode in the player below.

The Porpoise used my painting Folds as a foundation. The paintwork is in gouache (the lettering too) and the surface made from antique board, found at a Brussels flea market. The painting comes from my On Wood series: a body of work which resulted in exhibitions such as Unearthed, Years of Dust & Dry and Surface. The series recently evolved into my Rising Horizon project which can be explored on this page. This latest grouping of works sees a shift from (mostly) wooden surfaces to (mostly) metal ones; and from watercolour paints to oils. Several Rising Horizon works are now available.

My next exhibition is As Coastline is to Ocean: a project discussing the topic of the coast from a variety of perspectives; alongside artist Joseph Calleja and works by the late Robert Callender. A selection of my Rising Horizon works will be exhibited in this show, alongside a new series of Arrangements. By way of their materials, these Arrangements mix elements from my two largest bodies of work, but use no paint. Instead, found items are wrapped, cast, cropped and pasted to mimic sea surfaces and coastal shapes. The works follow the environmental thread that binds all my work, and focus on the topic of coastal change. Digitally manipulated found sea photographs and 8mm film projections feature, alongside collage works and gallery specific installations. We’re delighted to be exhibiting the project with An Talla Solais (Ullapool), with backing from Creative Scotland & Hope Scott Trust. We’re also running an Open Call [now closed] alongside our show, asking artists to respond to the topic of coastal change.