In February 2023 I had a solo exhibition, Improvised Fictions at the Scottish Arts Club in Edinburgh. The Scottish Arts Club is a cosy exhibition space in the heart of Edinburgh. I showed large and small oil paintings on the theme of day dreaming and invention, with images being improvised fictions in the sense that they were made up as they went along but gave a hint of narrative. The imagery ranged from figures in living rooms with patterned carpets, gardens with overgrown shrubs, people in conversation, and memories of family holidays.
The small works were painted on top of old paintings that I decided I no longer wanted to keep. I retained some of the underlying imagery but covered much of it with white and then painted on top or scratched through to colours below. I like this idea of recycling old work and seeing what traces remains of past ideas. The technique is influenced by my study of fresco, the white paint being a bit like lime plaster and the layering similar to frescoes I have seen where the Byzantines painted on top of Roman imagery.
To complement the paintings, I showed a range of frescoes and sgraffiti on fragments of brick and terracotta pipe. These were influenced by a visit to the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford in September 2022 as part of my Stephen Palmer Travel Award Bursary.