What I’m trying to do
Regular visitors to art exhibitions and artists websites may have noticed the current practice whereby artists provide a written statement explaining the rationale/philosophy etc. behind their work. Although I respect this, I prefer to let viewers make their own interpretation. There are no hidden messages. My main aims are to create a world from my imagination, images and objects that are intriguing to the eye; and to transcend the barrier between ‘fine’ art and design/illustration.
Instead, readers might be interested in a list of some of the inspiration behind the work.
Folk art in general, some examples: the carvings decorating Plas Newydd, the home of the Ladies of Llangollen; wood-cuts sold at scenes of gruesome crimes in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Popular culture: The ‘Steam Heat’ dance sequence in the 1957 film ‘The Pyjama Game’; record sleeves for the jazz Blue Note label.
Outsider art and the art of the insane in general; some typical artists: Hung Tung, Willem van Genk, Adolf Wölfli.
Some favourite artists: Eighteenth century wood-engraver, Thomas Bewick; New Yorker cartoonist of the 1950’s, Saul Steinberg; illustrators of the 40s and 50s Edward Bawden and Eric Ravilious; German wood engraver Otto Rohse; maker of automata Roland Emett and my teacher at Liverpool College of Art, George Jardine.
Born in 1939. Studied at the Laird School of Art, Birkenhead and
Liverpool College of Art (winner of the John Moores Travelling Scholarship 1961 – spent studying with graphic designers in Swizerland, Germany and Holland).
Graphic artist and college lecturer, based in London, since 1962.
Worked in Japan in the mid-1960’s.
First professional work in 1962 as assistant to graphic designers Jock Kinneir and Margaret Calvert. From 1967 worked as independent freelancer: design of posters, book-covers, company trademarks, illustrations, diagrams, editorial design etc.
In 1988 helped set up the magazine Raw Vision, international journal of Outsider Art and was its designer and art editor until 2000. Raw Vision has been instrumental in promoting understanding of the phenomenon of Outsider Art - the obsessive power of the art of the insane.
Visiting lecturer and external examiner at many colleges in Britain and abroad, including Middlesex University, Newcastle Polytechnic, Ravensbourne College of Art and Design, University of Westminster, Wimbledon School of Art, Royal College of Art, West Surrey College of Art & Design, Hochschule der Kunst, Berlin, École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs, Paris.
From 1988 to 2005 was senior lecturer at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design (University of the Arts, London).
Recent solo exhibitions:
Beaumaris Arts Festival; Venue Cymru, Llandudno; Oriel Mostyn, Llandudno; Theatre Clwyd; Oriel Myrddin, Carmarthen; Galeri, Caernarfon; Aberystwyth Arts Centre; Galerie Handwerk, Munich.
2016 Elected member of the Royal Cambrian Academy (Welsh equivalent of the Royal Academy of Arts).