I’m an artist and writer based in Orkney.
My recent artwork employs a slow, contemplative process of drawing, building up a complex image through the repetition of simple motifs or marks, a working method that mirrors natural processes of growth and accretion. What emerges from this can resemble froth, surf, clouds or other naturally emergent forms such as mollusc shells, or plants. Recent work is increasingly influenced by the constant presence of the dynamic Orcadian weather and sea.
In earlier work, I have also used photography, installation and video, and I have also undertaken several public art commissions, most recently a large scale mural for the new Balfour Hospital in Kirkwall.
I write creative nonfiction and essays, with occasional forays into academic journal articles, in which I try to think through questions around art, philosophy, contemplative practice, and how we think about ‘nature’.
I was awarded a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of St Andrews in 2017, and a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award in 2018. My first book, “The Clearing” will be published by Little, Brown in Spring 2020.
I originally trained at Edinburgh College of Art, Belgrade Academy of Fine Arts, and the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL. In 2010 I gained an MA in Values in Environment from the Philosophy Department at the University of Central Lancashire, before embarking on doctoral research at the University of St Andrews, which resulted in a PhD in 2017.
I have taught at Edinburgh College of Art, the University of the West of Scotland, as well as guest lecturing at the Tasmanian School of Art, Central St Martins and Gray’s School of Art. I am a fellow of the HE Academy and I now provide online tutoring for the University of Hertfordshire and teach occasionally at the University of the Highlands and Islands.
I have carried out residencies at the British School at Rome, The University of Oxford, Grizedale Forest, Tasmanian School of Art in Hobart, Scottish Sculpture Workshop, Stills Gallery, IAAB International Residency Programme in Basel, Wysing Arts Centre, and Timespan Arts and Heritage in Helmsdale.
I have been commissions to make public art works for The Balfour Hospital, Kirkwall, Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, Great Ormond Street Hospital and Auchterarder Community School.
Awards include a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award, Scottish Arts Council Artist’s Award, an RSA Art for Architecture Award and a British Council Scholarship.