Why do you make art?

My life has been a series of all consuming obsessions. Art making is a way of exploring and digesting the things I love. An art practice is also a great source of mystery, it’s a total thrill to have a visual record of your insides.

Who do you make it for?

Its impossible to gauge the experience another person is getting from my work so ultimately it’s made for me. The work has the ability to introduce me to myself, I have no Idea what it’s social skills are like with others. I have been making text pieces for a while designed to help me get over myself, to look up, out and away. I have slogans like HELP OTHERS or THINGS CHANGE hanging in the studio as a reminder of larger truths and purposes. These works seem to have a broader appeal and function.

Do you have heroes? Is so, who, if not why not?

Le Corbusier, Kurt Vonnegut, Barack Obama

Do you plan out a piece or do you wing it?

It seems like the only way I can make a work that satisfies me is to fix something that is broken or to take a radical shift in direction half way through. I need a starting point and these days that takes the form of a found painting or a landscape inspired by a found painting. The work on found paintings is a slightly different process as most of the work has been done for me. What I do from that point on is observe the painting over a period and wait for instructions. When producing a work inspired by or copied from a found landscape, I have to work towards the original in a planned manner blocking out the reality that at some stage the work is going to dramatically depart from that direction. The trouble with this process is that only about 1 in 4 paintings work out and see the light of day.

How do you know when you are finished?

When the work is at the framer, No wait I have added more to framed paintings, so I guess its finished when its in an exhibition or behind glass.

What was the first exhibition/artwork you saw that blew your mind?

When I was 6 my parents split up and my mother, siblings and I went to live with family friends. The house was the home of Architect Ian Athfield and was a white plaster organic monster of interconnecting caverns and towers tumbling down a wellington hill side. The building started in the mid 60s and construction is still going on. On top of the marvel that was the house was a very interesting art collection. The painting that intrigued me most at the time was a surrealist piece by Ian Scott of naked women in wheel barrows in a dreamscape of green hills. This experience shaped my values that hold true to this day: that apart from food, water, love, world peace and the environment, the most important thing is modernist architecture filled with interesting art.

Name a recent exhibition that impressed you?

Michelle Ussher at Uplands she can really paint.

If you could have any artwork in the world what would it be?

Silence by Max Ernst please.