‘Books and reality and art are the same kind of things for me.’

11th May 2022

Quote above is from Vincent Van Gogh, letter to Theo, 11.2.1883

My recent MA studies investigating theology in the context of the imagination and contemporary culture have been an inspiring and intense part of grappling with some of the subject-matter that informs my art. But this comes with concerns that my love of books and research within this academic setting might subsume my creative work. Certainly time has been an issue, yet creativity has found expression in new provisional forms behind the scenes rather than through work as yet on public display. Van Gogh’s words highlight an interrelatedness which I can see in my own creative approach, and helps to make sense of the way academic research has fuelled rather than quenched my creative curiosity.

Strolling around the exhibition ‘Living with art we love’ in Chatsworth House reminded me again of the unexpected energy and ideas that disparate items put in proximity can generate. The traditional and contemporary co-habit with textures, colours, forms and scale which draw attention to each other in fascinating ways.