From my recent exhibition Infinite Narratives – optimism / End-Times at 139artspace. Interview by Orli Ivanov.
The concrete jungle repeatedly depicted in your drawings in a very eerie, dark and apocalyptic manner, what is your relationship with the urban landscapes and living in the jungle?
I was born in camberwell, south east london and have always lived in surrounding areas of greater london. Urbanised areas. As a boy and young man I lived nearer to woodland and closer to Kent and always felt drawn towards the woods. i don’t want to get too into talking about the city, or the “concrete jungle” too much. But I have had many dreams where I’m in a industrial area and am running away from something… The building type structures in my drawings I have taken to symbolise civilization more generally, which I think is going to go through some radical changes in the next fifty years or so. I do the drawing kind of automatically, then afterwards I relate it to my state of mind, things that are influencing me, what I am consuming, reading etc… I am trying to work from a non-anthropocentric perspective. I think a lot of art, a lot of writing is centred around the human experience, I’m trying to get away from that. the point of my recent work; optimism / end-times, is, I think that when the buildings fall, when civilisation falls and the numbers of humans – either over a long or short period – decrease, because of fuel crisis, war, poverty, climate crisis etc etc then that will be a big bonus for the rest of the nature. Ultimately urban landscapes are of not much interest to me , as what they relate is a human influence on the earth, viz: destruction.
What significance does the creative practice and creative engagement hold in your existence?
My work patterns are sporadic, but when I am working , whether writing poems, drawing, painting, producing a book, I feel most complete. I feel that the work informs me. When I work I feel its a learning process. It’s not always comfortable but I often feel I gain something internally from practicing my art. Sometimes though I think, “what’s the point?” and I can’t bring myself to do it. I’m thinking right now about how I can practice my art in a way that is practical and meaningful maybe in a political way. I haven’t figured it out yet…
What was your most surreal and vivid dream you had?
I feel this question is irrelevant generally, and dreams are highly personal reflections of our subconscious as well as images of our conscious minds. I have mentioned something on this subject relative to a previous question.
I’d like to recommend some reading which has informed my recent work; Endgame by Derrick Jensen, The Dark Mountain Manifesto, any of the films on submedia.tv ,Petrosubjectivity – de-Industrialising our sense of self by Brett Bloom.
Also, go to any local protests, join the mailing list of your local disabled activist group, do some research on the current political situation, don’t have kids, think about what comes next…