I paint, draw, write, play music and learn about how these things can support people to be together.

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Currently:


Ongoing:


I also sell direct from my studio, see a current list of available works.

I work with the learning disability arts organisation Heart n Soul as their Associate Artist. I was a part of the Conditions Studio Programme in Croydon from 2018 -2021. I was an artist-in residence within Tate’s Schools and Teachers department. I founded the not-for-profit organisation Constant Flux, wrote the DIY as Privilege manifesto, and play in several punk bands.

Please get in contact if you have any questions, ideas or collaborations you want to talk about.

“21”



A shape enters my view. There’s a connection between us - through hands, through a smile and a smile back. Then stride and shuffle on to where you want to go. Concentration, sound, music, mess. The moves are there, studied, replicated, repeated imperfectly but perfect. Joy exudes, unselfconscious action, dancing and laughter persists. A lightness throughout my body, a response to your body occupying the same room as everyone else.

All this somehow is tied up with a recent memory - a man shoots and kills 58 people because he is afraid. Afraid of what they might do, of who they are, of others like them.

Way back as this man’s being was taking shape, tests were available to check for ‘defects’, ‘abnormalities’, ‘problems’. Before his body moved from his mother’s into the world he would have passed these tests.

As he grew though he found defects, abnormalities and problems with others. Others agreed with him, or he found others to agree, or those others found him. He found these problems with other people so bad that he decided the world would be a better place without them. He felt justified in his actions.

In return for what he did we give our outrage, solemn outrage, disgust, horror, we say we are all one, I am you, you are me, we are together.



The shape that entered my view, exited and didn’t return. The news of his death devastated a community. He was taken too soon, died suddenly and far too young. Before his body passed from his mother's into the world the same tests on his body - that the man who killed 58 people passed - would have had a different result.

“If you are faced with this choice you will get support to help you make a decision.” [1]

Someone close to me once said that if the body they were bringing into the world had failed these tests then they would have prevented it from entering the world. They said they would be too afraid of the life it would have. They believed the world is made for those that pass the test, not those that do not and the struggle in fighting this would be too much. I understood.

“The best case scenario is they might become an artist or a dancer.” [2]

You are no longer here and I don’t know in what ways you will be missed. Are you; dead; buried in the ground; in heaven; are you gone last week; a shame; a sadness; a young person; work; a project; a friend; an inspirational man; a DJ; a case study; a loss; a force to be reckoned with; an education; a reason.

Words attach to your memory, like they did your whole life. There are some words that say nothing of who you are. Time folds in on itself, you are now free to move and exist anyway you want. Life was better for your body in this world.



Text originally appeared in ‘Underpinned by the Movements of Freighters’ exhibition zine, curated by Joe Moss and held at The Florence Trust from the 1st - 10th July 2021.



‘Whale’
2021
207cm x 182cm
Oil, oil bar and studio detritus on canvas and board






“The drum also”

26th June - 9th July 2021
Basement of Conditions.shop
Unit 66 of the Whitgift Centre, Croydon, CR0 1LP





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The best workshop I never ran

Playing: An 11 minute recording from my phone of a group of students from Central Park Primary School, London performing on a set of self-made cardboard drum kits.

This imperfectly captures the culmination of a day spent together at the Tate Modern where I was working as an artist in residence for the Schools and Teachers department. For me this was the pinnacle of my time there and the best ‘workshop’ I ever ran during my residency - in spite of and definitely because of a lack of planning on my part. I struggled throughout the residency with the balance of structure, structurelessness and the expectations of students, teachers, the department and myself. This recording to me represents a perfect example of differing layers of support and structure coming together to create a moment of togetherness. To me it also displays some of the underlying power dynamics within education, the ‘workshop’ model and notions of creativity and freedom.

During the day we spent the morning walking around the gallery, getting to know one another and what we were interested in. One of the students was a keen drummer and I had a bag of drum sticks at the gallery from a previous unsuccessful (planned) workshop. Together we decided we would make drum kits together out of the available resources we had (cardboard) and perform on them in the Tanks - which is an incredibly resonant space, which would make up for the lack of natural resonance of cardboard.

During the making process the students couldn’t decide on any music to have on but one of the teachers said that each term they listen to a different genre of music throughout the school. This term was Jazz and they had been listening to some really “out there” stuff so I should put on whatever I thought would be good. So I put on a live album by Max Roach that I had obsessively been listening to whilst painting in my studio at the time - which includes a 15 minute version of the drum solo “The Drum also Waltzes” - a call for the drum and rhythm to be seen in a different light. We listened to the album and set about making the kits - with one student deciding to make an intricately designed skull guitar from scratch using rubber bands and cardboard. The instruments were decorated with tape and drawings - one teacher looked a bit lost as what to do to support the student he was working with so I started tearing off bits of tape and handing them to the student who then began to arrange them beautifully on the box/drum. The teacher took this process over and slowly became more confident, only afterwards did I find out he’d never had an experience like that with a student before - a student who he thought might not be able to engage with the process of creating something.

We took the kits across the gallery into the Tanks - the teachers were surprised and questioned if we were allowed to be doing something which could be disruptive to the general public’s experience of the gallery. I said it was fine - One of the benefits of the role was this permission to disrupt and use sound and music to alter the experience of the gallery for the young people I got to spend time with.

We set up and everyone began to play - it sounded incredible in that space. A small audience started to gather and enjoy what was happening. On the recording you can hear me direct the group to each perform a solo - an intervention in the free play that had been happening previously, one of the teachers can be heard to say while i’m trying to get their attention, “Listen to Sir” - which still makes me feel uncomfortable but is an important reminder that despite a lack of desire to be in a position of power I was (and still am - controlling the narrative through this work and these words). With this power however I thought it was important to ensure every individual had a moment of being listened to. This became especially important for the student that made a guitar - completely inaudible in the group cacophony - but in a silent space reverberated around the room in a way that none of us expected. This is the point I loudly cry out - a single moment but the peak. He did what he wanted during the whole process and we supported it the best we could, despite not knowing how it would fare against the rest of the group, and then made space for him. I sometimes forget that those single moments are enough to make everything before it worthwhile.

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Works:

The Tyranny (2020)
Oil, oil stick and pastel on canvas and cut-out board



Don’t Be Precious (2020)
Oil, oil stick and pastel on canvas and cut-out board with drawings by students from Central Park Primary School.



Dancing With Language (2020)
Oil, oil stick and pastel on canvas and cut-out board with drawings by students from; Hampden Gurney Primary School, London; Tower Bridge Primary School, London; Ibstock Place School, London St Josephs Catholic School, Kingston Upon Thames; Greenside School, Stevenage; Bowes Primary School, Arnos Grove; Thomas Buxton School, London.    



Hold me close, ghost (2020)
Oil, oil stick and pastel on canvas



What is this? (2019 - 2020)
Pen, Pencil, Crayon, Acrylic paint, charcoal, dust, dirt from shoes on canvas



Drum (tom) (2021)
Oil, oil stick and pastel on drum shell with canvas skin



Drum (floor) (2020-21)
Oil, oil stick and pastel on drum shell with canvas skin


The best workshop I never ran (2019)
Audio, length - 11:18
Recording of performance on self-made drums by students from Central Park Primary School, London on the 21st January 2020 in the Tanks at Tate Modern.   


Lonely wide open (more more) (2020-21)
Audio, length - 1:45
Samples “Drums Unlimited” by Max Roach from the album of the same name


Blue Sketch (2021)
Audio, length - 1:06
Samples “Blues (featuring Cecil Bridgewater)” by the Max Roach Quartet from the album Live in Vancouver



‘Ghosts’
2020 - Ongoing
30cm H × 21cm W × 0.8cm D
Oil, oil stick & oil pastel on cut out board
Each ghost is unique so size and shape is approx.

Edition of 100




“It looks like a ghost.”

These constructed ghosts are made in various shapes, sizes and colour combinations. They come signed & numbered in their own bespoke box. They are part of an ongoing edition – made in batches of 10 and stopping when I make 100.

It is important they are sold through Conditions – to support a place attempting to exorcise some ghosts in education.

Conditions.shop


‘Soft Easy Beginnings’
2020
Oil, oil bar & oil pastel on canvas


Installed in Conditions.shop, Croydon. On wallpaper by Cecelia Johnson and alongside work by Matthew Wall & Cecelia: