I am working a series of works in oak. I was lucky in that I was able to but a job lot of oak offices for a very, very good price. Right place, right time and scored gold. The offcuts were part of an installation that was commissioned. To say I was ecstatic with my purchase is an understatement. I have been doing various types of research for the last few months, looking at various African and Oceanic masks; these objects of stunning beauty have fascinated me for years. During the summer or shall I say ‘heatwave’ of 2018 I visited the Tribal Art Fair that was in a small gallery in the Pall Mall, London. The show was mainly for dealers and collectors but some of the pieces on display were stunning. The prices of some of these works was off the scale but being able to be up close and see some authentic masks from Gabon was a very humbling and inspiring experience. The time I am able to get into the studio is being spent working on pieces that have been inspired by my recent research. Many of these masks were  made in soft wood, which oak is not. However, it is my contemporary urban art interpretation of the masks that forms the basis to my current process. I have no idea why I love working in wood so much. There is no need for me to try and hypothesise and put some intellectual spin on it. For me it is a functional, durable organic surface that has lived and continues to live through the art that has been created on it. The process of working with wood is very zen and therapeutic. A big part of working on a piece of wood is the story to how the wood itself came to me. In  this case the oak off cuts were a good find and through my love of assemblage working with found materials it was a match made in creative heaven.

Process in the studio working on oak panel.