I grew up in rural Scotland in the 1960s and 70s. A prolific child artist, I gave up art after a troubled adolescence and the bullying remarks of a sexist art teacher. I turned to music and performance instead and still release critically acclaimed albums, but I relied for many years on tedious, low-paid jobs for survival. In 2000, quite by chance, a friend asked me to help him with the making and mending of domestic stained glass windows.
I disliked the work at first because I felt frustrated by the meaningless designs customers asked me to reproduce . I was bewitched, however, by the strange imagery and storytelling power of medieval windows and eventually I started to tell my own stories through stained glass.
In 2014 I decided to focus exclusively on self-initiated, personal work, usually displayed in light boxes, like glowing paintings.
I discovered that stained glass could be an joyful and rebellious way out of many years of artistic and emotional frustration.
I sandblast, paint, fire, engrave and layer glass and relish the inherent chaos of such an unpredictable medium. The slowness of the process lets me access subconscious, dreamlike imagery and tell stories linking real-life, contemporary experiences with historical texts, characters and events.
I intend to save stained glass from being reduced to a secondary craft and reinvent it as a great communicator.