I suppose my first ever sense of what it meant to 'be inspired' came when I was exposed to Ridley Scott's Alien at the fragile age of 5 or 6 years old. Was I scared shitless? Yes. Did I turn off? No. Quite the opposite: I became obsessed, reviewing it compulsively, trying to decipher what the hell a toddler found so appealing about this frankly disgusting monstrosity:
I don't know what it was, but H.R. Giger's horrifying yet strangely seductive and sensuous creations compelled me to re-create them. That was the only way I felt I might be able to access them. Because they were, and still are, so powerfully enigmatic.
Cool. Terrifying. Erotic. Self-conscious. Whatever it was, I needed to reproduce the images. I suppose "inspiration" was driving that need, and has manifested itself in the past few years in a series of works which I am quite happy with.
Giger's work planted the creative seed inside me (excuse the pun), so everything I've ever produced has probably had some influential grounding in his imagery. I'd like to think that it is specifically Giger's juxtaposition of the grotesque and beautiful which has filtered its way into my own work, as I have a particular passion for mixing monochrome with high contrast pop-y colours.
People have commented that my work is dark, disturbing, even shocking. I can't really help myself there. I was never interested in painting pretty watercolour landscapes. For me, art has to be affecting or transformative, even if only for a moment. I'd rather hear someone say, "it's nice but too scary", than simply, "it's nice". For one, "Too scary" translates as "I don't want to look at that because I don't want to be told how corrupt I am". Secondly...Who cares about nice?