During a college trip to Amsterdam in 1992, I visited the Stedelijk museum. The museum has a wealth of modern and contemporary art. It was here that I first viewed many works of the Expressionist art movement. While at college I had only read about painters such as Kandinsky, Kirchner and Schiele. However, to see their work in a museum made a big impact on me. At the time, I was particularly interested in German and Austrian Artists especially the figurative work. I was fascinated by how figurative forms were almost caracturesque by appearance; their features distorted and elongated. For me, this approach was so visually engaging. By contrast, my drawings and paintings were still very much representational, photographic looking and flat. I was usually too over-concerned about ‘correctness’ and my approach being very tentative when marking a mark on the paper. I was very inspired after the trip to Amsterdam. I began researching more into Expressionism. For example, the Die Brucke artists and Austrian Secessionism. The Expressionism movement had an overwhelming effect on my figurative drawings and also broadened my horizons in my approach to drawings in general. As a result, my drawings became very linear and outlines were much bolder than before. I was increasingly looking at ways to exaggerate forms with more intensity. When assembling work for entrance to university, the series of self-portraits drawn in conte (below) were very much the spine of my portfolio.
Self-Portrait Series 1993 (Conte on paper)