ABOUT            TEAMS           PROJECTS           ARTIST INDEX           COMMUNITY           GET INVOLVED

I grew up on farms, first in the south of England, then later in Yorkshire in the north. It wasn’t easy to see friends when I was at home, so I spent a lot of time playing in the woods alone. I think that developed my imagination and the particular way I look at and sense the world. 

My family recently received 30 years of funding to transform our farm in Yorkshire into a biodiverse farm. A lot of the land around it has been farmed ruthlessly with mono-crops, so we have brought in ecologists, entomologists, and soil specialists to teach us how to restore the farmland. For example, on my home farm, we want a quarter of the ancient woodland and plants to decay, so that they feed back into the environment’s growth cycles. This process of learning about native species, bacteria, and the cycle of growth and decay has been influential on my practice. 

My practice has always been experimental. No matter what I originally planned, I will always break my own rules in the studio and try to create something new for my own eyes. I think this ties into my engagement with the forest, where the more I have explored the boundary between life and death, the more it becomes blurry. There is a cycle to returning to ideas, introducing new ones, and letting others fade away. 


I have been learning about animism and ritual practices for about three years now. I am reading a book by Eduardo Kohn called How Forests Think, which is about the Runa people in Ecuador’s northern Amazon rainforest. Their experience living in the forest has shaped an intricate system of communications and beliefs between the people and the rainforest ecosystem.

I have been thinking about this book through the framework of a Nordic practice called finfaring. Norse pagans would travel to learn from the Sámi peoples in Northern Europe, then draw upon Sámi teachings to understand their own culture from the outside. This encounter helped the Nordic people develop new ways of relating to the self, the community, and others. Animist belief and new cultural encounters offer radically different ways to see the world and relate to the non-human. 

My girlfriend is a painter, and we often chat about what it is like to be in the studio and pour so much energy into the objects we create. We often talk to our paintings. The experience is different, looking at something like a tree or a painting, and seeing it as a “thou” versus an “it”. Rather than inanimate objects, they can be seen as non-human subjects. I think this is a bizarre practice to many people, but the more you practice it, the more it opens up the world to magical experiences. 


There are so many things I love about watercolor. First, I think it is a very relatable medium. Many people have had an experience with watercolor as a child or in school. It is an easy way to experience what art-making can be. There is magic in placing two colors next to each other and watching them slowly merge.

Watercolor can capture an instant in time and the flow of the moment–the material has an agency of its own. There are certain drying shifts and ways that watercolors don’t behave according to the rules of color theory. I’m able to let the medium speak for itself. I think this relates to animacy in a poetic sense.

I love to paint on an unstretched surface. Depending on how much water I put down, I can make that surface come alive and use the undulations and the warping in the paper as a collaborator. The pigments I use also have different weights. If I am pooling an area, I can consider what colors will be brought to the edge and what will sink in the middle. I can make a simple motion, like a drag of color across the surface, and slowly watch a composition unfold in front of me. 

I like the term “gossamer” when thinking about my work. A cobweb is a gossamer–the term evokes the sense that a strong gust of wind could cause the image to dissolve, or if the rain came it would disintegrate. I like the idea that my paintings are unresolved or amid transformation.

In grad school, I often asked myself “When is a painting a painting?” I was making paintings that could be flat-packed and constructed on the wall. I was thinking: Is it a painting when the pieces are on the floor and stacked on top of each other? Is it just a painting when it’s on the wall? 

An idea popped into my mind: I wanted to grow a painting. I bought my first Petri dishes after grad school. I was learning about how our bodies rely on foreign bacterial cultures. We wouldn’t be able to sense the world without them, but they are invisible communities that live symbiotically with us. The bacteria helped embody the idea that the painting has senses and is viewing the viewer as well.

I began swabbing my eyes, ears, nose, and mouth and observed interesting forms of bacterial growth that mimicked weather systems. They would look like stars in the sky or aerial time-lapse images. Just thinking about mimicry across different scales was intriguing. I developed a way of dehydrating them and turning the growth medium and bacteria into a film that I could incorporate into my paintings. For a while, these films on the surface of the paintings felt dormant. I didn’t like the boundary between the paper and the film. Recently, I have been experimenting with integrating the bacteria further and pouring growth medium directly onto the painting.

The bacteria growths have definitely informed my paintings. I have been referencing many aerial views of ancient sites in the UK, like stone circles and burial grounds, which look like Petri dishes. When I’m working with watercolor, I am also painting from an overhead view. I like that interplay between micro and macro, where you’re not quite sure what they are or the scale of the image you are looking at.