My art is a response to my experiences in life. This is the simplest answer that I can give. As I produce each new series of work, the ideas and motivations behind my work change. Therefore, I feel that it is more accurate to describe each series individually, rather than attempt to make a blanket statement about my body of work as a whole.
This website is a work in progress. Images and explanations of new work will be posted as it is created and in due course. For now, I have provided explanations about the five most recent series of work I have produced dating back to 2003. Images of the work are available under the Galleries section of this website.
Hopes and Expectations – Restaurant 62,
October 3rd 2009
- January 8th 2010
Whereas my previous series “New World” was concerned with images of the past, “Hopes and Expectations” is about the future. Since becoming a father for the first time in March 2007, I have often wondered what type of world my wife and I have chosen to bring our children into. The title “Hopes and Expectations” does not refer to the hopes and expectations that I have of my children, but rather the hopes and expectations that my children have of me, of their planet, and of their future in this world. I heard the phrase “hopes and expectations” in the lyrics of a song by the British band “Muse” whose music has provided much inspiration to me over the last few years. When I heard the lyric, I thought that it worked on several levels as it related to my life as a father, as a husband, and as a teacher. For this series, I chose simple images that speak to the environment, to technology, and to the exploration of childhood. These images include dying sunflowers, a walking dog, a power/cellular phone tower, and a young child with a ball.
New World – to be exhibited at several locations from 2007-2010
This is a series that I began in 2005. Unlike most series that I complete in a matter of a few intense weeks, this series came together more slowly. It changed, developed and grew numerous times throughout the course of its creation. Although, I didn’t realize it until I was well into producing the series, most of the images I chose speak in one way or another to places that I or my family have lived, or have ancestry from. There are images originating from Scotland, England, Germany and Mexico. For me, much of the emotion that this work conveys speaks to a sense of place and a sense of home (however strange a place “home” may be).
This series was shown several times over 2007 -2010. The first occasion was a part of “Keeping Time Volume 2”, another collaboration with the Nelson Boschman Trio. Images of my work were featured during two performances of Nelson’s jazz group in September 2007. This was another benefit project for Communitas (formerly the Mennonite Central Committee Supportive Care Services), an organization that provides assistance and care for people living with physical and mental challenges. The series was also shown at the Kariton Gallery in Abbotsford in January 2008, as well as at Mitch Miller’s Restaurant (also in Abbotsford) over the summer of 2009. Selected pieces of the series will be shown in conjunction with the series “Hopes and Expectations” at Restaurant 62 (also in Abbotsford) from October 3rd, 2009 to January 8th 2010.
Keeping Time- Regent College, UBC,
July 8th, 2004
I was approached by Nelson Boschman, an accomplished jazz musician and (former) professor at Columbia Bible College who was completing a Masters degree in Christianity and the Arts at Regent College, a part of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. The thrust of Nelsons thesis was a return within the church to the liturgical calendar. Nelson asked me to produce a series of jazz-inspired paintings, one for each season (e.g. Lent, Pentecost, Advent etc.), for which he had either written jazz arrangements of traditional hymns, or composed original jazz songs. Along with dance and spoken word, these paintings would be incorporated into a live performance. Collectively the event was called Keeping Time. Contrary to what I had been expecting, I actually found the experience of collaborating with other artists to be somewhat liberating. Each painting uses the approximate colour scheme used in the church for each season of the liturgical calendar. The images I chose for each painting were my response to the particular season’s themes. The paintings were photographed, and projected onto a 20 x 20 foot screen above the musicians throughout the performance.
One of the paintings has been used for the cover art for a recording also titled Keeping Time by the Nelson Boschman Trio and guest musicians. All proceeds from this recording go to benefit the Mennonite Central Committees Supportive Care Services (now know as Communitas), an organization providing in-home care for people with physical and/or mental challenges. The recording is available for purchase at MCC and Ten Thousand Villages stores. In the Galleries section are images of the whole paintings as well a series of digitally manipulated stills which were also projected during the event.
Black Friday- Peace Portal Alliance Church, White Rock, B.C. March, 2004
At the time I produced this series, I was experiencing what can only be described as reverse culture shock. I had returned to Canada from living in Scotland a few months earlier. Specifically, I had moved to the Lower Mainland of British Columbia where I had grown up and left eight years prior. I was trying to make peace with this place that felt more foreign to me than had Scotland.
Twist- St. Fergus Gallery, Wick, Caithness, Scotland, April-May 2003
I produced this series in the midst of living and working as a teacher in Wick, Caithness, Scotland. Anyone who has ever been to Scotland, particularly the isolated north, will know a hauntingly beautiful forgotten corner of the world it is. As much as I came to know and love this place and the people I met there, I was still very much a stranger in a strange land. Twist was a response to the state of my life and my experiences while living there.