Hylomorphia

The title of this series comes from Aristotle’s notion that every physical object is a compound of matter and form. This doctrine has been dubbed “hylomorphism”, a portmanteau of the Greek words for matter (hulê) and form (eidos or morphê). The works are an attempt to bring sculptural forms into the painted image using lines, forms and textures to ‘describe’ objects rather than to depict them directly. The inspiration to do this came after a trip to the Barbara Hepworth museum in St Ives and looking at the way in which her sculptures, which weren’t of any directly referential object were able to become a part of the landscapes, by communicating the connection between ideal and natural forms.

Whenever this has been explored in a two dimensional aspect, it has always relied on a focus of the ‘natural’ pigments of the painting, however, because I have grown up in a big city my whole life, I am mostly removed from nature. I am also slightly sceptical of this very middle-class notion that the ‘natural’ is in some sense ‘better’. Therefore, in order to create the imagery of my pieces I started from a series of abstracted photographs of cracks pavements which, for me, represent a kind of symbolic skin of artificiality which constantly removes us from the natural world below. In many ways, I’ve always thought that the canvas is a kind of skin, showing us the material aspect of the painting whilst containing much more besides, and so the bringing together of pavements and brickwork as the starting point of my ideas felt rationally connected.