‘Transitions' is a series of paintings made in response to a year spent living in and travelling through Colombia, Guatemala and New York City. The latter was part of an Arts Council England (ACE) funded project to explore neurodiversity in arts organisations, make artist connections and create new work. The collection explores my experience of travel, as well as broader ideas of what a journey can entail; such as displacement, movement, change - and fluxes of life on a more metaphorical level. In Colombia, refugees coming from Venezuela highlighted the privileged position I had to be making a journey through choice. My frequent use of public transport resulted in a fascination with the theme of ‘Transitions’, and this also followed on from previous series ‘Bus Journey’ that explored journeying through central London.
During journeys, particularly across large frenetic cities such as New York City, the sounds, sights, smells and constant movement was frequently overwhelming. To manage this, I created a self-made safe haven - large headphones with personalised playlists, a huge ‘eskimo’ hood, sunglasses, comfy clothes, as well as drawing materials to hand. Amidst the sensory chaos of the cities, I carved out a quiet and meditative space for myself. A place from which to observe, draw and make notes about the exterior world engulfing around me. A coping strategy to keep at bay the feeling of sensory overload, experienced by many on the autism spectrum.
The drawings and notes made during these journeys acted as the starting point for larger works on canvas, with paintings exploring both the subtle and transformational nature of change. From the quirks and nuances that occur gradually, to those greater movements that happen in life. The complexities of these life changes echoed in the layering of paint on canvas, with each coat shifting the painting to a new destination. The general fluxes of life, and the commonality of the human condition, explored through line, shape, rhythm and rhyme. Black lines weaving in and out; in front of, and behind the scenes of life. There are stops and starts. Sometimes it’s stilted. It’s not always what we expect. Like the human spirit and how we choose to live our lives. A process of exploration and revelation.