My work is a process of questioning through which I dissect elements of the sociological and cultural systems around me. I have always been motivated to explore questions of identity – what does identity really mean? How do we construct it? How do we navigate the social and cultural norms to which we are bound? I direct these questions both inwardly, to me personally, and outwardly. I am interested in how, as people, we find our place – how we develop our sense of belonging in a busy, complicated world of rules, contradictions and expectations.
People often seem fascinated by my working practice and it has developed into that something that is quite individual to me as an artist. My work is predominantly made up of line drawings and that I manipulate digitally. Computer aided design is absolutely central to the way I make and develop pieces – I need to alter and modify images in a way that would not be possible by hand. I find pattern and texture fascinating and often spend hours poring over the look and feel of multiple layers of data and then, suddenly, the arrangement will strike me as right and I’ll move on. My current practice involves translating complex drawings into layered laser cut paper pieces and often includes acrylic and mylar.
Each piece begins life as a digital line drawing using a combination of custom developed design software and conventional software such as Adobe Illustrator. The digital drawing stage can take up to three months to complete. Once the drawing is finished it is divided into layers; this stage is where I decide how much depth a piece will have and how a viewer will be able to see the finer detail within it. The layers are then translated into files that a laser machine can read.
I then begin cutting the layers (one at a time) on the laser machine. An individual layer can take up to four hours to cut (it has to be done under constant supervision because of the level of detail, so I spend a lot of my days hanging over a laser machine) and an entire work takes many weeks with up to 60 layers in a single piece.