All my life the focus of my work has been poised somewhere between words and pictures. I have expressed myself in series' of images linked by narratives both fictional and non-fictional. When I started out at art school, I felt embarrassed by such 'illustrative' and 'graphic' leanings and turned to abstraction. My paintings were often made in series' and inspired by stories, but subject matter was communicated only in texture, colour and tone.
For a few years I refused to name my work - if I wanted to put my ideas into words, I'd write about them. My audience should not need words because they were having a visual experience. In short they should toughen up! It is likely that a little posing was involved in my stance, I liked any statement that sounded suitably radical and rebellious!
Perhaps, ideas have their own identity which dictates both their form and their content?
Recently I have begun to combine words and pictures more freely, writing on the wall beside images, engraving text into gesso panels, lettering in gold leaf.
Having decided to be an an artist at the age of 4, I was always an avid collector of pictures and postcards. I remember an article on Howard Hodgkin, torn out from a Sunday colour mag. Its title was 'FINDING FORM AT 50'. The article featured Hodgkin's delicious abstracts with the paint-daubed frames. I remember thinking that Hodgkin had taken his time, that I was sure to be 'finding form' sooner than 50. Humbler and somewhat wiser now, I have come to understand that Hodgkin, like so many artists, found different forms at different times to express his ideas. Ideas have their own identity, dictating both their form and their content AND nothing beats the feeling of giving an idea its due, of finding the perfect form to communicate it to the world. The pursuit of such moments always has and always will get me out of bed in the morning!
"Finding Form at 50?"
2. Detail Revisions Installation: N. Sirett, etching and penciled text, 3.5m x 2.5, 2010-2013
3. Revisions Installation: N. Sirett, etching and penciled text, 3.5m x 2.5, 2010-2013
4.A Small Thing But My Own: Howard Hodgkin, oil on wood 1983-1985