Born in Crouch End North London August 4th 1980 to an Irish Father and an English Mother
Studied Architecture for 7 years including 2 years practice
Moved to Beijing in 2006 to pursue something different......
I entered China with a wallet full of worthless currency, not a single word of Chinese and a telephone number of an unknown but recommended maverick who would only affirmatively grunt into the receiver on my long distance calls. The Maverick in person would talk fluently and humorously, he proved to be a very valuable contact and friend. I landed an art residency for three months, after which I took a studio in the same compound. After the first year my studio had been scheduled for demolition and I was given notice of 5 days to leave. I had lost my studio and most of the money I had invested in it, but I was still determined to continue in China. I purchased a second hand Mamiya medium format camera the same day (partly as an ebay fix and as a solution to maintain a creative output). My studio would now travel with me in a bag.
I’m from London, a City where the best way to understand its history is to walk it. Evidence left by previous generations was monumental, London a living museum and its citizens its artists and curators. Beijing leaves no such evidence in the open, no history remains unless it has been designated and officially recognized as part of the big plan. What is left is an isolated history that does not live. To understand China through its cities you have to go to their edges, the places where the change takes place, the region of constant flux. I was searching not for obvious or loud images of China, but subtle details that were a challenge to capture let alone see.
I lived in a house I built within a warehouse in a forest on the outskirts of town. This Thoreauesque experience would give a great insight into China and myself. An experience that would test me in many ways. When I wasn’t forging an existence out in the village, I was a jester to some the rich and famous Beijinger’s that had included me into their elite circle. Duties included shouting a particular profanity to unsuspecting strangers over the dinner table. The list of the offended would range from Nobel prize winning dissidents to government tycoon millionaires, but would generally leave everyone except me in raptures.