I’m a painter, lecturer and curator currently working in Newcastle upon Tyne.
I studied at Northumbria University (BA Hons Fine Art, 2002), Newcastle University (MFA, 2010) and hold a PhD from Newcastle University in partnership with Museums Northumberland. My practice-led PhD It was entitled ‘Repainting the Pitmen: The Ashington Art Group & Robert Lyon – Rethinking Legacy through Archive and Practice’. It explored the legacy of The Ashington Group of artists (also known as the Pitmen Painters) through the production of 30 new paintings and curation of two exhibitions and publications. It looked at the post-industrial landscape of Northumberland through the lens of previous artistic activity.
My wider work focuses on seemingly everyday scenes which hold additional historical, cultural or personal significance, applying diverse techniques to a photographically derived painting style. It takes sites of chosen events and considers notions of collective memory, pilgrimage and history through the act of painting. I’m interested in painting as a receptacle for memory, and in how collective and personal memory can be evoked visually.
Previous awards include the Journal Culture Awards Visual Artist of the Year 2018, winner of the Contemporary British Painting Prize 2017, prizewinner in the John Moores Painting Prize 2012 and I was profiled in the Phaidon publication Vitamin P3 – New Perspectives in Painting.
I am represented by galleries in the UK and Europe and am an active member of the artist-led group Contemporary British Painting. Recent exhibitions have been in London, Sheffield, Gdańsk, Swansea, Newcastle, Tisbury, Sunderland, Milan, Iași, Leeds, Berlin and Manchester. My work is in public and private collections internationally.
I have been teaching in adult and higher education since 2010, and I am also an Associate Lecturer in Fine Art at Newcastle University. I speak regularly as a Visiting Artist at institutions nationwide.