Statement

Flying has provided me with a productive focus which has connected the variety of my visual work for over 10 years. ‘Flying’ has been the exclusive theme of my work for several years.
 I am learning to glide at the Booker Gliding Club which is feeding very productively into my work. I have been working on some paintings directly related to gliding , including ‘Searching for the Wave’.

For me Peter Lanyon’s ‘Soaring Flight’ exhibition at the Courtauld Gallery this autumn has been very special. (It was inspired by his gliding.) His reference to the painter, J M W Turner, is particularly important to me as I have learned much about him while being involved  in the campaign to save Sandycombe Lodge, the house he designed and built in St Margaret’s

Peter Lanyon (an internationally renowned 1950s/60s abstract landscape painter from Cornwall) ….” This is why I do gliding myself, to get actually into the air and get a further sense of depth and space into yourself, as it were, into your own body, and then carry it through into painting, I think this is a further extension of what Turner was doing”
55pp  Smiles, Sam (2012) ‘Flight and the Artistic Imagination’ Compton Verney
(Lanyon was an experienced glider pilot but died following a crash into a local hill aged only 46 in 1964)

Basically I am a painter, mainly in acrylics on canvas. Also I like to use charcoal and oils, and experiment with different surfaces.. Most of my work is small or medium size, but I am increasingly refreshing my practice by expanding into 3D and performance (JaneAir), when this seems opportunity seems appropriate.

The main series I am working on suggests the future evolution of people towards flying people - spiritually as well as physically. I prefer to imagine people changing toward the shapes of gliders rather than developing birds’ (or angels’) wings. Matisse showed me a way to play with cutouts and Aldeburgh beach provided the wind to fly them from the Lookout. This was during the xvi collective residency with the Caroline Wiseman Gallery in September 2014.

Last year I worked with Kevin Tillet, a laser show expert, to make a short ‘Flying man’ piece for Bad Behaviour’s ‘Collaboration’ exhibition. Unfortunately the exhibition space was unsafe for lasers so we produced a DVD for projection.

The friends I made at the ALAS residency have opened my work and exhibition opportunities wonderfully through Bad Behaviour and the xvi collective. For example we are planning an exhibition in Miami next autumn with the theme ‘modern rituals’.