I'm from a village in the North East of Scotland. Leaving there I moved to Glasgow to study Architecture at Glasgow School of Art and now work as a figurative artist.
My work moves beyond representation and explores the less acknowledged aspects of our nature. I'm interested in the horror within, and the sides of ourselves we often choose to hide, or pretend don't exist. I am also interested in belief systems, and how the power of belief can motivate us do extraordinary things.
My current work is about the Anabaptist Siege of Munster in the 16th Century.
The Anabaptists (a persecuted Lutheran sect) took over the city of Munster in 1534, under the leadership of 2 prophets, Jan Matthias and Jan Van Leiden, with the aid of local town figures. These prophets expelled and murdered Lutherans, Catholics and dissenters. They predicted the end of world, claimed to communicate with God and introduced edicts under the guise of divine instruction to their faithful. These included iconoclasm, a strict rule of law, forced marriage and polygamy.
Under a year long siege by the Catholic ruler the townspeople began to starve, and finally Munster fell. The remaining prophet and leaders were then tortured to death by the Prince Bishop in Munster town square. Whilst many of the behaviours in this story are of the past, there are numerous parallels with the behavior of cults and sects in present day.
The figure in art has always been my driver. I am interested in making works that move beyond direct or a realist representation, and into another state. I make pictures with emotion, often without a clear narrative, where the figure although changed is less perfect, more real and although altered, unadulterated.
I live and work in Edinburgh. I often work from life but also from other references. I work mainly with one model who imparts her own ideas, creativity and energy to my work. References would usually be photographic or collage, and these are always a departure point rather than a definitive source.
OPEN 2018, SSA and VAS together, Royal Scottish Academy, January - March 2018
Esbat Collective, Touch, Patriothall Gallery, October - November 2017
RSA Open Exhibition, RSA Lower Galleries, Edinburgh, July - October 2017
Esbat Collective, The Switch, Dundas Street Gallery, Edinburgh, March 2017
Esbat Collective, The Moonshine War, Otherworld Books, Edinburgh, August 2016
Esbat Collective, City Primeval, Coburg House, Edinburgh, June 2016
The Image Collective, The Space, Ocean Terminal, Edinburgh, April - June 2016
Naked Aye, Creep Me Oot, St Margaret's House, Edinburgh, April 2016
Beyond the Figure, Group Show, Dundas Street Gallery, December 2015
Esbat Collective Website