I live and work near the world heritage site of the Phoenix Mine and Cheesewring Quarry on the Caradon Hill mining complex of South East Cornwall.
For a number of years I have been engaged with the visual impact on the landscape of the South West, in particular that of Cornwall, brought about by the industrial extraction of tin, copper and lead. This intervention has revealed an otherwise hidden world of mineral wealth unrivalled in its beauty of colour, form and texture and is a continuing source of investigation and motivation. Specifically it is the rich, saturated colour that is the focus, to the point of it becoming the subject.
Whereas I do not use metalliferous mining products directly as a visual reference, there are quite a number of minerals that are, unearthed and scavenged from the spoil heaps of Cornwall’s disused mines and mining heritage. These references are made almost exclusively for their colour content, often in conjunction with the matrix of rock in which they are found. These natural relationships frequently inform the compositions. The colour may well get modified in qualities of saturation and tone during the picture making process, but without direct observation from the specimens in my collection the work would not have this as a starting point
The geometry and planar composition of the work is usually based on references to another aspect of Cornwall’s geology, that of granite quarrying. I will happily mix the two sources, cavalier-like and irrespective of its scientific accuracy, even juxtaposing and mixing two or more colours from unrelated minerals. But this is always for the sake of the painting’s construct: it is a response to, rather than a recording of.
The titles of the works often make reference to the minerals, or their source, or as a sub-title to a quarry reference.