When I visited the Royal Academy’s summer exhibition for the first time, I knew I liked art, was energised and inspired by what I saw. I made art compulsively; but it mainly sat in drawers until I got bored and shredded it. It took others to get me to take it seriously.
This year, I’m in the show. It was the first time I’d submitted anything and I was delighted to be shortlisted, and even more amazed to be selected. Last Friday I visited the gallery for varnishing day, when the artists get to preview the exhibition, and saw my work on the same walls that have hosted just about any name in art history you can think of.
I want to say a huge thanks to those who’ve encouraged me, taught me, prodded me to get on with it and those who’ve helped in a million practical ways too, as well as those who’ve supported me by buying prints. You know who you are! I am more aware than ever before that none of us really achieve anything on our own, we do it with the support and backing of friends and family. To my wonderful friends and family; thank you.
The exhibition is on at the Royal Academy of Arts from June 10th to August 12th. Do go and be inspired and energised yourself and I’ll look forward to seeing your work there in future years.
I’m really delighted to have been selected to exhibit at Bankside Gallery for this exhibition. The national original print exhibition is organised by the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers and is an open submission exhibition showcasing the best of contemporary printmaking.
The image I’m showing is called ‘coin’ and is a screen print using layers of pearlised and matt colour and finished with metal leaf. It’s the first work I created as part of the studio practice for the PhD I’m working on with University of Glasgow. I’m looking at theology and economics and how they interrelate and this print was created from my first impressions of the topic, a kind of overview.
There is light and dark, there are complex global networks that overlap and obscure one another. It’s hard to know where to start, but the advice I received from artists, writers and theologians alike was to start with something right in front of me, find a thread and follow it. I was reminded of a bible story where Jesus is asked his opinion on taxation and, knowing the the question was a trap, asked to look at a coin. That one piece of metal, something ordinary and everyday, embodied both beauty and empire, precious and worthless it speaks of the two sides of our nature, and links us to power, corruption and greed, but also generosity, provision and the abundance of the earth.