Artist of the Month: The Finsbury Park Deltics

I have been drawing ever since I burst forth, urgent and confused, from a municipal bed in England. Initially I doodled as a way of alleviating childhood angst; now I do it as a way of alleviating angst that’s all grown up and running around with scissors.

Working in a variety of media, I parody mass culture by exaggerating formal aspects inherent in our society. I make work that sometimes appears idiosyncratic and quirky; at other times a by-product of Western hyper-consumption; yet more, humorously indecent.

My artworks are given improper functions; implications are contrary, form and content merge. Shapes are dissociated from their original meaning and the system in which they normally function is thereby exposed. Initially unambiguous meanings are shattered and disseminate endlessly. By putting the viewer on the wrong track, I gently prod various overlapping themes and strategies, with several recurring ideas (such as class, provocation, violence, family and sexual desire) eventually being throttled. Being confronted as aesthetically resilient and thematically interrelated for memory and projection, my work seems true and, as we all know, the truth exists but it has many faces.

Energy (heat, light, water), space and landscape are examined in less obvious ways and sometimes developed absurdly. In a search for new methods to read the city, I focus on the idea of public space and more specifically on spaces where anyone can do anything at any given moment; the non-private space, the non-privately owned space, space that is economically uninteresting but socially and historically wondrous.

I often refer to popular culture in all of this. Using written, drawn and photographic symbols, a world where light-heartedness rules, and where rules are undermined, is created. And, lurking somewhere in the chaos, you will find signposts; signposts to a community only now seen through a blurred lens, enmeshed in hyperbole and ultraviolence; signposts to a country that may never have even existed.

Being utterly untrained (some might say you can tell), the more ‘egalitarian’ forms of art are the ones that really do it for me; street art, outsider art enc. The greatest art I’ve ever seen has been drawn on walls, and the way Outsiders use art as a method of dealing with and contextualising mental illness is truly inspirational. Art is therapy; art is catharsis. Well, for me anyway.

My experience of ArtCan has only been positive and uplifting. They provide opportunities for artists of all backgrounds and experiences, and every single one of us brings something to the table. Their unique approach in working with the gallery structure, whilst supporting artists to develop, is truly energising. ArtCan is, in every conceivable way, greater than the sum of its parts and I would encourage any artist, at whatever stage of their careers, to become part of the family. Especially if you have to balance a day job (which I do) with your art practice. ArtCan membership can only help with spinning these seemingly mutually exclusive plates.

Ultimately, I just like drawing pictures. And I aim to do that as much as I can for as long as I can. And if people happen to like them – well that IS humbling.