ARTIST STATEMENT

My work explores concepts pertaining to identity, masculinity and, importantly, sexuality. Within my work I wish to interrogate the heteronormative visual culture we have become accustomed to. The goal of my paintings is to subvert the norm of the heterosexual male gaze and the objectified female and to depict the male figure as the object of desire - an illicit act of looking.

Northern/Irish cultural assumptions surrounding sexual ‘species’ feed into my studio work. I have struggled with making explicit the sexual desires of the marginalized ‘other’ within these social constrictions. These difficulties led me to invent a fictional story to build my practice upon. Therein lay the possibility to give my characters a freedom that cannot be experienced within heteronormative morality.

Currently, my work diverges into two interlinked strands - an imaginative landscape and the male figure within this landscape. I imagine a forest-type world that might act as a safe haven for like-minded males. Here my figures can escape the patriarchal ideals placed upon them by society. They can become the true reflections of themselves. 

Detail of "What's that there coming over the hill?" (2015)

Detail of "What's that there coming over the hill?" (2015)