So much of life today is designed to be disposable. As someone who regularly visits the coast and beaches, the evidence for this throwaway society is sadly often to see.
I feel it is really important to re-cycle where possible. I do this in my daily life and try to reduce the amount of waste we throw out, and its no different in my artwork.
In 2014 I won an environmental award for the garden I built, around our home, which is open to the public to visit. It has a strong theme of recycling, and I used various objects such as tyres, pallets, kerb stones, re-used slabs, plants from skips, net and wine bottles to create areas of interest.
I carry this through to my work, and am delighted to use discarded pieces off wood to paint in. I collect up bags of ‘firewood’ from a local company and discover off cuts of fantastic wood such as solid oak.
Even my work desk is reclaimed – it is actually an old door fixed to a small desk! It’s great and gives me a perfect large workspace. It would have made no sense to throw it out and spend hundreds of pounds on a new desk when it works perfectly.
Although lots of my work features repurposed items, my most well known re-cycled artwork is possibly my re-used scaffolding boards, which are simply large chunky planks of wood which get dumped periodically to comply with various health and safety rules. I re-use them, cut them up and paint onto the raw wood, which has an even more interesting texture when it is marked, chipped or gouged into. Surely a smooth canvas would be pretty boring in comparison.