I find ideas about art and artists extremely interesting. What is “real” art, and who counts as an artist? There are so many conflicting ideas and perspectives. Many of them involve making art in a medium, with a technique, and about a subject someone approves of, or measuring up to someone’s definition of success. I think it’s an aspect of identity you can claim for yourself. In my case my arts practice is often about finding a way to bring private experiences into public.
I create first and figure out what and why later. I write or paint or make because it eases the pain, calms the nightmares, captures the dreams. Staves off self destruction, expresses joy, gives me mementos from altered states and other worlds. Art helps me make sense of myself and the world around me.
I create in various media, especially ink paintings, oil paintings, paint on skin, and small sculptures. I often use art to explain, inspire, or humanise in my public speaking and training.
Hybrid artists cross the humanities/science divide and use their skills and passion for a science discipline as their medium or topic in art. I’m passionately interested in the science of being human – neuroscience, psychiatry, psychology, social work, social anthropology and so on. These fields often inform my art.
I am a Social Practice Artist, which means I work collaboratively with communities, using social engagement as my primary medium to create artwork in various formats. The social interaction is a key component of the artwork. I link contributions from people together in the creation of my artworks. With sensitive handling, Social Practice Art is an incredibly effective way of engaging hidden communities, complex issues, and taboo topics. It supports the voice of people who are often ignored, and increased visibility of the experiences and ideas of those affected without having to expose them directly. I have successfully used this approach to create my artbook Mourning the Unborn, and exhibition Waiting for You, on the topic of miscarriage.