These works started out in Seawhite’s Studio in West Sussex, on a very large piece of Fabriano paper - about 10 feet by 6 feet – which was attached vertically to a wall. I made marks, limiting myself to using beautifully sharpened pencils, really concentrating on the feel of the pencil on the paper and the nature of the marks I was making. It was a deliberately slow, thoughtful process. After several days the paper was covered and I then tore it carefully into pieces and collaged these on to a new, large piece of paper.
I had no preconceived ideas when I started my mark making (apart from to use only pencils), working intuitively, and it was only towards the end of covering the first piece of paper that I started to think about woodlands, wildernesses, the awakening of primeval landscapes, and the seethe of life that exists in these places. As I collaged the torn pieces, images started to emerge and I followed the lines and shapes of the marks to lead me towards more recognisable images, which I then layered with oil bars, very aged newspapers and even lichen. In the final stage, after tearing the second piece of large paper in a deliberate way, I made a series of individual pieces of work.
What to put in the spaces between the trees, on the second large piece of paper, became a preoccupation as I thought about the moving air and what floated and drifted in it: particles of leaf and bark, teeny bits of feather, a fraction of a leaf skeleton, the tiniest shavings of stone, weeny shards of snail shell, snips of leaf veins, desiccated petals, empty seed husks light as a ladybird’s wing – a flummery of teeny, weeny pieces floating, whirling, pirouetting, drifting ascending, swept across warm air speckled with pinheads of pollen. A curdle of little histories, end notes of seasons, faded papery swansongs. Just as in the wilderness, ideas floated and pirouetted in my mind, tumbling, drifting, settling on the page.