I’m an artist and web developer living in Berlin.
Like all kids, I loved art and design, but by the time I was ready to leave school I had decided that it was the direction I wanted to take my studies. I attended Birmingham Institute of Art and Design for a year and then, once I’d completed my foundation course, I moved to London to study art at Goldsmiths College.
A developing art practice
It was whilst at Goldsmiths that my interest in cities as a subject for my art began to develop. My practice was already focused around mark making, signs and symbol, but living in a busy and sprawling city lent these marks a deeper meaning. As my work developed, physical layers of paint became more metaphorical with references to layered journeys and experiences. Random marks came to represent chance encounters or missed opportunities. These are themes that continue to interest me now and heavily influence my lastest ideas.
Discovering a new medium
During my studies I began to understand the potential of the internet as a new medium for story telling. I played around with some HTML and quickly realised that if I was to create anything more complicated than an online “choose your own adventure” book I would need to put in some work. Almost 10 years, 2 jobs and countless websites later I’m at a point where I can realise almost any design using web standard technologies. I’ve picked up many valuable skills, but to the detriment of my art practice.
A return to craft
Having reached the end of my most recent employment I’ve been thinking about what I want to do next. I’ve worked on a few fun web projects, but have never really felt like I was creating a truly new experience. There has been nothing that has left an emotional trace.
By returning to my art practice I’m hoping that I can start to tell stories again. To create experiences and worlds that drag you in and stay with you long after you’ve gone on to do something else. This doesn’t mean that I’m abandoning the web though. I’m hoping that I can bring some of these ideas to my next job and help to fulfil the early potential of the web to tell stories too.
At the same time I can see ways to supplement many aspects of my art practice with online components. Back stories and histories can provide a way into a piece of work, but at the same time can give it a more solid foundation. The best stories don’t stop when you close the book.
Grand ideas for a new start, both in terms of my professional life and my creative practice. I’ll be keeping track and developing them here.
Sunday 20th February, 2011.