Creating art, whether aural, literary, or visual, is not something I choose to do; it’s something I can’t stop myself from doing. I have always been interested in what makes art art, and can’t help but look at the world searching for artistic vision. I continually collect found objects that provoke a response, whether emotional or intellectual, or contain some sort of natural beauty or have potential for beauty. Whether a discarded toothpaste tube or flowers found in a garbage can, I attempt to incorporate these objects into my art, to interpret their stories. I’m interested in using art to push people out of their comfort zones, because I believe that is where we truly find ourselves; art has an innate ability to provoke the kinds of changes and responses we don’t fully understand—the changes I feel we so desperately need. I believe that art doesn’t necessarily have to be beautiful; if a piece or an installation triggers emotional response—whether that’s a sense of serenity, joy, anger, or it simply makes you feel uncomfortable—then it has served its purpose. I also believe that art is truly subjective. Every person interprets a single piece uniquely and that is something to be celebrated. When creating my art, I strive to recognize and play with this dynamic aspect inherent in releasing your work to the scrutiny of an audience.
A few years ago, I went to Tate Modern in London where the main exhibition was primarily audio. As I walked around the big empty space—dimly lit and almost abrasively industrial—I could hear snippets of conversation, song, and ambient noise; everyone in the room seemed lost in their thoughts as they listened. In a way, the visual art of the exhibition was the people who were there at any given moment. I looked around and saw humans, all ages, shapes, and sizes, straining their ears, chatting, reading, crouching, moving, standing still, closing their eyes. It was beautiful. What struck me most was the lack of sensory stimulation to the exhibition—there was no art, in a traditional sense, to see. What you experienced instead was the absence of art. It’s said that a musician who can use silence effectively is the most skilled; visual artists can work this way too.
These are the ideas that motivate me when I create my art: space, silence, words, concepts, response. I create art first for me and I create it because I think the world is full of art—naturally occurring or accidental as well as consciously constructed—and opening our eyes to it is one of the best things we can do to enrich our lives.
I am influenced by modern and contemporary art, Japanese calligraphy, graffiti, and the ideas of Zen art, or art created for the purpose of meditation. I have always been influenced by street art or any form of free, public art. With my background as a wordsmith, I am naturally drawn to art that incorporates words or text into the body of the work (Magritte’s pipe, Banksy’s political messages, etc.) and my visual art has always done this. With the validation of mediums such as spraypaint/stencil and Jiffy markers, I've recently returned to visual creations in a more substantial way, always with some interjection of words and text into an image, as a means to provoke thought and juxtapose visual response with preconceived notions of what a word or phrase means to the viewer. My art combines multiple mediums including spraypaint (working with stencils and natural objects as well as freehand layering of textures and colours), pen drawing, collage, photography, sculpture, and more, to explore and blend several different styles of art, including abstract, surrealism, urban, contemporary, modern, and others.