Human Identity

“When we become human, when our eyes adjust to the ra
w life of the world, the first thing we see
is a face. And before we can walk, or we can speak, we b
ecome readers of faces. And as we grow
into ourselves and the world we live in, this instinc
t stays with us”- Simon Schama.
I am using the face as a way of addressing fundamental
issues about human identity.
Desmond Morris describes, in his book,
Man Watching
that, “When we are looking closely at a
human face, we do not remain fixed on exactly the same
spot, for any length of time. Our eyes
scan the features of the face, but concentrate most on
the eyes and the mouth.
Taking the human face as a subject, rather than making i
ndividual portraits, I am interested in the
complexity of the self and of identity more generally. I
am interested in the way in which people
both conform and adapt, depending on their circumstanc
es, forming masks to feel comfortable or
conceal parts of their identity.
I choose to work from photographs of strangers that I h
ave taken or found. Through the use of
etching, and drawing I create multi-layered images, li
ke Glen Brown. Building up one face upon
another to create a complex web of line and form. Hum
an characteristics such as eyes and lips
come forward and then recede back into the multi-fasted
surface I make. I attempt to create works
that take time to unfold
.