CALEDONICATION is an exploration of individuals and of a nation.
I have always been fascinated by mankind’s ability to adapt and assimilate whilst retaining their sense of identity. For me, the instinct to explore the world is inherent in my cultural DNA.
My artistic career began as a musician, playing lead guitar in a succession of bands in the UK, often incorporating sounds resonating with Celtic overtones. I wanted to create layers of colour to shape this sound into something fresh, vibrant and dramatic. I couldn’t fully express these visions within the confines of a band and sought a larger arena. So I packed my guitar and headed overseas.
It was during this period of traveling in the late 90’s that I set up my tent in a remote corner of Canada, There, I discovered the aesthetics of cultural art through a group of Native Canadian artists. This opened the doors to a world of visual language that I now vigorously pursue. My art soon became my own dialogue – the physical tangibility of the tools, and the way a picture will always take on its own form – raw communication.
When I arrived in Australia I really began to explore the connection of identity. It was discovering Albert Tucker’s work in the NSW Gallery that really led to this collection. His paintings of the outback rejected rose-tinted illusions for the harsh & gritty reality of life out in the bush. The humanity of this shone through. I started to examine my own roots with a new clarity.
Like the outback, the highlands can be harsh and unforgiving. My tartan abstracts depict events which define a weather-beaten nation, who lived, loved, fought, bled and died in their colours. Theirs was a journey of defiance, and my genetic reference point. Through my own journeys, I have discovered my cultural DNA. It is that cultural DNA which has inspired CALEDONICATION.