Well, it’s hard to explain in words, but for me the surface is something one almost feels, rather than sees. It is a visual texture which arouses feelings in me. From my first experience of printmaking, the way the ink could sit IN the paper, or ON the paper engaged me.
Here are some photographic images which illustrate this feeling for surface. They are mostly of walls. Here are images of age, weathering, distress, wear and tear. The images have been shot in New Zealand, Venice, Prague, Sydney, Tasmania – wherever I have travelled – and to me they have a great sense of place. However, I show people my travel photographs, and they say to me “But where did you actually GO?”
When I travel, or at home here, I am often more interested in the walls or the stones beneath my feet than in the buildings, and I’m more interested in the way the people interact with the world they live in, rather than natural forms and surfaces. I feel these surfaces carry the stories of the people who have lived there, that they have changed over time, and you can see in the surface the record of those changes. There might be a nick here, or a scratch there, or a scrawl of graffiti. These walls can be sensitive, fragile and quiet, or they can be vibrant, colourful and energetic.