1) What does "earth" mean to you?
Working with the earth and its raw by-products offers me the most direct and immediate material that I can find, circumventing the traditional studio based materials and reverting to the primitive and unprocessed. Working with materials that are normally perceived as redundant and wasted is always of interest to me Drawing is a very direct process and this in combination with primal base materials allows one the ability to work in a very honest and direct way where the material has 'meaning' for the work and is not merely a means to depict an image.

2) How do you, as an artist, make use of the earth as a material?
The materials I work with in my drawings are not necessarily sourced directly from the earth but are rather a by- product of fire, I draw with the smoke and soot from candles and with the ash obtained from burning and grinding up books. I initially started using book ash as a medium to draw elderly and terminally ill people. The sitter was asked to provide a short list of the books / texts that had influenced them or had made some impression on their lives, I then scoured second-hand dealers for copies of the texts. The book was charred and ground up and used as raw material as ash for the drawing. The motivation behind this was initiated by the saying, "When an old woman dies its like an entire library burning down". Death as the loss of a lifetime of accumulated information and wisdom, not just the physical termination of a body.

In The Rain Horse I have used the ash remaining from a number of portraits, mulled together as my drawing material.

3) Why do you, as an artist, make use of the earth as a material?
I am interested in the fragility and vulnerability of both ash and smoke, to work with a medium already burned out, extinguished and all used up within the general frame of things. Ash and it's carbon by- products most often are discarded as waste, perceived as a redundant material, not worthy of having any time invested in them.

I am interested in offering 'second lives' to expended and unwanted materials but am also attracted on a technical level to both materials as they offer alternative solutions and challenges to my drawing process, which I cannot find in more traditional materials