Signal Open 2018

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It was a fine honour to be awarded ‘Best in Show’ at the Signal Annual Open Exhibition 2018. It came as quite a surprise when I heard my name being called out, partly because I was at the back of the room out of eyeline of the announcer, but mostly because there was such quality on display. There were some astonishing pieces which were evidently developed from the ground up, layer by careful layer, from the hand of a well-trained artist. This had me thinking as to why my piece was chosen but I cannot find a conclusive answer. Regardless, it was a great boost for me and perhaps evidence I am on the right path.

The subject of my piece is my 11 year old daughter, Kai, who calmly looks out towards the viewer. The title of the piece is ‘Garden of Eden’. It was inspired by a moment when she walked into a room and looked at me with what I perceived to be pure innocence in her eyes. At that moment I felt I understood the concept of the Garden of Eden, in that she had not yet taken “of the fruit of the tree of knowledge” (of good and evil) but that the teenage years were just around the corner. She had no tangible knowledge of malevolence or the hellish possibilities of the world. It got me wondering how many “bites of the apple” she will take in her lifetime and how many layers deep is this human constant. So, philosophy aside, this painting is an attempt to capture her as she is now before the world comes knocking. You can see my work including a short time-lapse video of this piece at