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Turning Grief into a Creative Force: The Story Behind "Wish You Were Here"

Life often presents us with moments that are profoundly challenging and filled with grief. However, these moments can also serve as powerful catalysts for positive transformation and creativity. This concept lies at the heart of my new series, "Wish You Were Here."

Talking with my mum by her hospital bedside at Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, we found solace in the view of the sea from her window. Despite the circumstances, the mix of colours and the subtle movements of the ocean brought her peace.

I was unaware of the seriousness, as well all were, of her illness at that point, and that conversation ended up being one of the last lucid chats I had with her - quite apt, considering her lifelong connection to the sea.

My mum's passing was a pivotal moment in my life. It was a period of intense grief, but also a time for reflection and transformation. Our final conversation inspired me to create a series that not only honours her memory but also connects people to places and memories that hold significant meaning for them.


The Creative Process

For some reason, at the time my mother and I were speaking, I took a photo to capture the sea view we were talking about. This snapshot was used as a guide for colour and a reference to work from. Most of my work derives from photography, and is manipulated digitally before I seek to recreate the composition with various techniques. My aim wasn't to simply recreate the photo but more to reinterpret it through the lens of the emotional significance.



The biggest weigh-off before I start making any piece or series is how much screen printing vs how much hand painting do I incorporate in my process. In my series Electric Dreams I hand paint all the details with thickened acrylic to add texture and drama to the technique of hand painting halftones - a labour of love and mild madness. Whilst I won't write-off doing that in future executions of this series, I new I wanted screen printing to have more of a say in the output. So I started to experiment with different techniques and how I can transfer the blends of colours and textures to paper in a way that was unique to each variant. 



I found the most success with a combination of various methods such as mono printing, hand painting and a kind of mono transfer, that is wholly unorthodox but renders a blend that you can't achieve through printing gradients or mono printing through the screen. These techniques combined create a wonderfully textured piece, that has depth and variation in colour, with each piece being totally unique to the next.


The Power of Unique Art

I do want to talk a little about creating something unique and why I think it is important now and will grow to be even more important in time to come. We live in a world dominated by mass-produced items and churn. Make it cheap, make it fast; if it sells, make more; if it doesn't, add it to landfill—repeat. And now, with the acceleration of AI, the floodgates for things to be made on a whim and spun out without feeling, craft, or identity are well and truly open. Anyone can make anything, so why buy something from someone else? It's a solid question, and there will always be people who want the look and not the label—and that's fine. But for some people, craft, emotion, and connections are value—and things of worth will increase in value. After all, Primark hasn't killed off high fashion (yet), has it?



So, for me, making something with my hands, honing my craft, and pouring my soul into my work is something that I see as valuable. As much as I enjoy spending weeks on a single original, I also want to make prints that are cheaper and more accessible but still maintain unique characteristics that feel personal and special—qualities only that one piece will have. This embodies the idea that art can be both exclusive and deeply meaningful without smashing the bank.


Connecting You to Places Emotionally

Places hold a powerful emotional resonance, often tied to our most cherished memories. Whether it's a childhood home, a favourite holiday spot, or a view from a hospital window, these locations become embedded in our emotional landscape. Art can serve as a bridge to these places, evoking the sights, sounds, and feelings associated with them. By capturing the essence of these locations in my work, I aim to create pieces that resonate on a deeply personal level, helping people reconnect with their memories and emotions.



If you have a place that holds significant meaning for you, I would love to create a custom piece that captures its essence and brings those memories to life. Just send me an email, and we can discuss how I can bring something special to you to life.

Thank you for joining me on this journey. 

Explore the collection and find your own connection through art.