Artist's Statement

In March of 2015, I attended an artist residency at the New Zealand Pacific Studio. A week prior to my departure K. Louise Vincent left me a poem from her most recent manuscript. Her poem resonated very deeply and I took it with me to New Zealand. That poem, which begins “we are all chemists working in a laboratory of light” now opens K.’s lyric essay and this book.

I had no real expectations of how my work would proceed at the residency but I wanted to continue to explore imagery grounded in my obsession with edges, particularly the ever changing nature of the edges of islands. I brought with me minimal art supplies that included Yupo, a synthetic paper, with which I had just begun to experiment. The dramatic shoreline of New Zealand, and the essay An Islands Edges by Gerald Hodge also informed my first paintings in this series.

During my residency a new technique and a narrative way of approaching the subject matter began to develop. The first twelve pieces of the Ancient Light series were substantially completed at that time. Working on what was for me a new surface allowed a different technique to emerge. This approach led to a more dynamic exploration into the collision of the liquid world with the stone of the shorelines and the movements within the intertidal zone.

Upon returning to Gabriola, I began to use these new techniques and materials to try to capture the unique sandstone features of the shoreline of my home island and other remembered islands.

The colour palette in the series Ancient Light evolved and changed as a response to considering different shorelines, erosion and light conditions. The vast differing of blues, combined with the opacity and translucence of water, is an endless source of fascination and challenge. Each of the seven groups in Ancient Light is in part a response to these different locations.

Ancient Light