I love to live in Ely, cycling out on the surrounding Fen and exploring further afield in Suffolk and Norfolk. When I first moved here I didn’t see the landscape as a worthy subject but, as I explored it on my days off, I began to recognise the way that this exposed landscape alters its mood, the subtlety of the flora and the way that this place exists right on the edge of the encroaching biome.
I instinctively understand how this complex, fragile place has led to a multitude of myths and local folk tales. More than this, I am fascinated by more recent history of how my neighbours have drained and worked the land. I hear tales of children catching eels with eel creels (everyone has their own perfected method); of thrift and living from the hedgerow; of growing their own vegetables alongside working long hours on the land; of floods and digging drains; of servicing the railways and the war planes; of growing up (within living memory) in the shanty town they appropriately called The Babylon; of the area (where my house sits) they called The Paradise; of ingenuity, creativity, skill and collaboration.
All of this is expressed in these new works which seek to illustrate this mystical place perched on the edge of the natural world. They start as traditional, painstaking observational drawings on paper in pen, which are then digitally manipulated into multiple layers that seek to illuminate hidden truths.