I am interested in the Scottish collective imagination, in the re-establishing of a fragmented cultural identity and sense of belonging. I am fascinated by the images that fuel a collectively imagined past; postcards depicting natural heritage, photographs of island crofters, magical tales of monsters and faerie stories. Some may call it escapism but by lifting the veil between realities, by transcending time and entering these liminal spaces we are not escaping from reality but rather escaping from a man made illusion and reconnecting with the spiritual, the magical and the power of creative thought.
My art explores the liminal space between ‘fantasy’ and the man-made illusion that we call reality in the post-modern age. I am interested in the concept that fantasy can become more real than reality itself. My work attempts to provoke a bodily reaction in my audience, re-connecting them to their roots, to the tree of life with the intention of waking them up, making them feel more human and more alive.
I use locally sourced natural and recycled materials to create works, which draw inspiration from folk lore, folk art, craft, and the ‘old ways’ with particular reference to Scottish indigenous culture, tradition, superstition and a reverence for local natural heritage.
I make installations and sculptures, which become sets or props for performance but are also sculptures in their own right. The ritual and performance of making work, the object itself, and the use of the object as a prop in performance form a triptych. This alchemical process of birth, transformation and resurrection loads the object with a history, which allows it to become a vessel in which to carry the memories of its existence.
My recent work explores the role of the artist as shaman and the relationship between performance art and shamanic ‘performance’. I focus on the use of magical tools and props, storytelling, and shamanic song, emphasizing the role of the shaman in urban society. My performances have taken place in sacred sites, sites that were once considered sacred, raves in derelict buildings and in city parks.
I am interested in the magical and healing properties of natural materials and in the consciousness altering effects of drumming, and chanting. I draw inspiration from the processes shamans use to choose materials to make ritualistic tools, the ritual of making tools, and the power they invest in them by way of shamanic song. The final artwork is therefore as much the process of making the work, as the public performance or sculpture itself.