Flotsam and Jetsam

Background to work:

Flotsam and Jetsam refer to the mixture of goods or cargo of a ship that are either deliberately thrown overboard or lost due to ship wreckage. As a non-maritime phrase it can also mean “bits and pieces” or “odds and ends”.

The title relates to the diverse and fragmented nature of the works on show. It is also an indication of my “fragmented” way of art making. I relate to the term “bricolage” which in art making means using anything that is at hand, even if these things have no immediate relation to each other. The images I use in my collages are interpretations of found objects and photographs. Some of these have specific cultural, historical or political significance, while others are trivia from my everyday surroundings.

The portraits on show are mostly of people I know. Although they are realistic interpretations, I obscure or disrupt their identities with dark washes of paint. When painting a portrait I try to capture a melancholic calmness that has a disquieting undertone.

The abstract works are a fairly new development in my work. They were initially inspired by the different colors and hues on my mixing pallets. These are normally combinations of dark and colorful tones. I begin the abstracts with broad, loose brush strokes that I layer with rigid shapes and lines using masking tape and pallet knifes. For me they suggest structures that are either in the process of forming or perhaps disintegrating.

I find significance in that contrast, the liminal state between certainty and uncertainty, the tangible and the emotional, playfulness and seriousness.