To me, there is immense beauty in complexity. My toil in producing obsessive amounts of detail in my drawings is both a meditative and worshipful activity as I continue to delight in the created wonders that surround us all. The biomorphic patterns that I draw are derived from memory and imagination. They have an affinity with natural patterns such as those found on reptiles and giraffes as well as imagined cellular landscapes.
The muddy relationship between major historical developments in scientific thinking and artistic practice intrigues me. By historical convention, Darwinian (organic) thinking displaced Newtonian (mechanistic) thinking. In reality, Newtonian thinking has remained enduringly dominant in Western painting, philosophy and culture. This underlying theme of tension between Newtonian and Darwinian thinking forms a conceptual watermark in my current work. I have adopted my own lexicon where straight lines and hard edges equate with a Newtonian outlook whereas rounded globular forms and softer edges reflect a Darwinian perspective.
When you look down a binocular light microscope, your entire visual field is filled by what you see and you almost feel that you are actually in a weird micro-environment. This is the effect that I am trying to create with my large drawings (typically 150 x 150 cm). When a viewer steps forward to examine one of the highly detailed areas in one of my drawings, their visual field becomes filled with it. The square format adopted also reflects the photographic conventions of light microscopy. My current work aligns itself within the genre of micro-artists like Mark Francis, Karen Margolis or Daniel Zeller.
There is often a visual ambiguity between micro and macro structures. For example, the pattern of microscopic networks of blood vessels may resemble river deltas or urban road networks. However, my work usually includes distinctively microscopic features including areas of soft focus or sharp focus/crisp silhouettes and a sense of diffuse lighting that appears to be coming from underneath. I want to play down any ambiguity because the complexity that appeals to me is all the more amazing because it involves tiny microscopic structures.
My practice melds art, science and faith. For me, there is much to explore and marvel at in the world. Therefore, my work embodies celebration of the sheer elegance of the created abundance around us.
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