I begin working, with at best a vague impulse, the result of living with my accumulated sketches, photographs and collected discarded materials. But, when I pick up my torch and hammers, I had provided no method for myself to proceed directly from initial impulse, to hammer and metal, to a completed work.
I found I did not think abstractly with my torch and hammers. What I thought about when working with the metal were principally the issues associated with the craft of metalsmithing, which was a problem.
The act of turning sheet metal into a sculpture transformed the material, allowing the material to speak with a voice of its own but, the final work was unrecognizable when compared to my original vision.
To resolve the issue of converting hammer blows into an actuality that was not directed by technique I found I needed an informative mid-step. An active work-platform that allowed me to coalesce ideas, creating for myself a visual substructure for the work.
Collage, to my mind more useful than other available techniques because it could more easily be made to serve a purpose.
My original paintings and charcoal sketches, metal silhouettes, scraps of paper, oxidized metal, card and fabric, leaves and woodland litter and other additive elements are layered, cut, considered and reconsidered.
I then photograph the cumulative artwork which comprises a retrospective overview of my approach to image creation including painting, fabric collage and sculptural elements.
Finally computer software is employed to enlarge, shrink, crop, blur, contrast and intensify colors, obscure/eliminate details, create repetition, and flatten the depth of field. The result is a mach-cut that disrupts spatial or temporal continuity, shatters preconceived notions, and questions what the image is communicating.