Artist Statement

I prefer to think of my paintings as ‘portraits of humble things’. Small mundane objects; those parts of our lives which might go overlooked most of the time: old tools, unwanted toys and bric-a-brac. I am particularly drawn to objects that carry with them the marks of an unknown past: the dented, scratched, chipped, rusty and careworn. I harvest these implements of work and play from the realms of the rejected and unloved: charity shops, car boot sales, flea markets, jumble sales. These orphaned objects, the jetsam of our disposable society, indicate the tragedy of our everyday, where fickle affection is a virtue.

As a substrate for my oil paintings I often use found surfaces such as the series of works on nineteenth-century floorboards salvaged from Georgian houses in Brighton. The highly textured surfaces are a story in their own right – a result of over 150 years of human lives being lived out upon them.

It’s important my objects are cast as players on a stage, as they’ve each played a part in someone’s life. I seek to draw attention to the artifice of the set-up of such purposefully posed objects, rejecting the idea of a painterly ‘window’ and seeking to embrace the humility not just of the objects but of the practice of painting itself. 

My most recent works are part of an ongoing series – portraits of my CD collection, warts and all. These small paintings are executed in what I consider the very traditional and somewhat 'un-sexy' medium of watercolour and this is intentional – CDs were until relatively recently considered cutting edge technology, but their chunky physical form is approaching obsolescence in our contemporary era of digital downloads and streaming. I've tried to show how much each of my CDs matters to me, including the scratched covers and chipped edges incurred by years of use.

All works are for sale. Please email me for details at toridayart@icloud.com. Thank you.