Tuesday 19 September 2017

RCA Secret 2017

I can reveal my contribution to this years RCA Secret Exhibition now that the artist's names have been shared with the public. I wanted to create an air of foreboding so I found pictures from airshows and various other small town public spectacles and excised the focal events, leaving crowds of people marvelling at intense skies made with washes of watercolour dye. 

Wednesday 30 August 2017


I stumbled across yet more of my earliest work. I'd characterise it as colourful, yet inexplicable. Creativity was always nurtured growing up however bizarre the product. Art materials were plentiful and we were always working on a project. We made our own paper, experimented with dough craft, carved lino, designed teddy bears and created countless weird drawings of which these examples are only a few. I credit my parents with instilling in my siblings and I the sincerity and enthusiasm necessary to make stuff unfettered by self-doubt and perfectionism. 

The exciting world of Tim Flowers; General Practitioner. Lookin' sharp in a blue check shirt and out of control glasses.
Tree/Mushroom Cloud. Writing the title twice was meant to convince myself of it as much as anyone else.
Again the assertive use of words underlines the goings on of the drawing and leaves no room for it being perceived as some kind of peculiar line dance.

New Journal Pages

I find the earlier pages in my sketchbooks are much more verbose. I now use words and images interchangeably but I used to have difficulty allowing them to intermingle. 
There are repeating motifs that I don't notice until I scan all the pages and patterns emerge. Waxing and waning cycles of imagery. Moons, suns, trees, cities rise and fall endlessly.
I use my sketchbooks to hash out ideas and express fleeting thoughts that I think are worth saving for later. At times I use my sketchbooks and journals as a haven away from unpleasant external reality. I'm most productive trying to mitigate the ordeal of public transport.

Monday 28 August 2017

Umbra Sumus Print Project

I found an affordable and plentiful source of rubber printing blocks which are beautifully smooth to carve. Typically my prints mean at least one self-gouging in the fleshy part of my hand even with bench hook and hand guard. Thankfully my valuable meat is safe with these.

They are all 4"x 6" and lend themselves well to small vignettes. I've always been preoccupied with 'leaflet people' the unnaturally normal parents, children, first-time homeowners and serene dog walkers living out their lives in stock photography paradise on insurance leaflets in banks and supermarkets. They exist in Kodak moments, too perfect to be real.

They speak to that gulf between faerie glamour figments of advertisement living we fancy for ourselves and reality; the shaky consensus which we down here on earth rarely agree upon. They read like misremembered deathbed recollections. The inability to cope with that dissonance works itself out a thousand different ways on social media, that vast expression of 'Kilroy was here.'

As a print project I felt they'd work as outline, I used carbon paper to transfer them to the blocks and carved away the negative space. When printed they look like inverted ghosts, I wanted to strip away the colour and facial expressions. It forces a step back from the story being sold. Devoid of all the dressing they become unsettling and grotesque, just like life. I chose the name 'Umbra Sumus' which means 'We Are Shadows' in Latin to reflect the use of reductive methods that pare down the image into it's most basic form, as shadows show our merest shape which is all we are.

Friday 14 July 2017

Early Drawings

I found some of my early drawings. Densely packed with imagery, looking them over is like jumping in a time machine and travelling backwards, becoming the person I was. I had a lot going on in my head, I still do. The difference now is that I've learnt coping mechanisms. I also learnt that in an orchestra not all instruments have to be playing at once. These are maps to my pre-adolescent psyche.

This one is so fragile I had to glue it to a piece of card to stop it disintegrating. It dates from around 2000-2001 when I was twelve going on thirteen.
This one was made when I was fourteen and being homeschooled. 

Thursday 15 June 2017

Spicy Hot

Quick animation made using found paper scraps. I worked with what I had!
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