Can you tell us a bit more about your background and how you became an artist?
I was born and bred in Liverpool to staunch Atheistic parents. They had firmly renounced their RC Religion when they were teenagers – but felt obliged to keep up appearances. As I grew up I discovered that many people had to do this. In the early 1960’s it “wasn’t done” to say you didn’t believe in God – so people had to pretend to be pious just to keep the peace! When I went to a RC Primary School, I soon discovered that most of the other kids had been brainwashed into the RC Religion – whereas I was faced with it all for the first time. I therefore had a horrendous time at school. It appeared to be 90% Religious “Education” and 10% reading, writing and math. The only result of my attending that place was my complete and utter hatred for Christianity – (and that’s long before I learnt about its horrendous history). I couldn’t accept their idea of an All-Evil Devil when they (the teachers) were themselves a despicable little crowd: aggressive, impatient, loud, brow-beating, condescending, and taking sadistic delight in regularly caning kids for next to no reason.
I don’t come from a “Witchy” family and I’m not descended from some poor old lady who was tortured and burned as a Witch in the Middle Ages; nor do I believe in reincarnation. I simply realised from an early age that I wasn’t at all on the same wavelength as other children – or adults for that matter – and they seemed to realise this also: and being an only child seemed to compound the condition. I felt more at home in the company of animals – especially Cats – than human beings. I detested groups and group settings. I did not want to “join in” in any way shape or form. When I did mix, I realised that I could tell which kids I could trust and those who were untrustworthy; I could tell who was lying – no matter how convincing they tried to be. I could tell who was going to have an accident and whether it was going to be minor or severe; other kids who made trouble for me had accidents. So I had this fully formed predisposition which I hadn’t asked for and didn’t fully understand, based on Individualism and – in part – Isolationism. A born Outsider.
My first direct contact with Occultism came when I was 7, when my parents and I were on holiday in Cornwall and we visited the famous Museum of Witchcraft at Boscastle – meeting the, then, proprietor: Mr. Cecil H. Williamson himself. This was a real, genuine Occultist and Magician who had known both Gerald Gardner and Aleister Crowley. Of course the Museum and its fantastic contents had a profound effect on me and Mr. Williamson patiently answered all of my questions about Witchcraft and Occultism. The Boscastle Baphomet, he stated, was “the Horned God of The Witches – and The Devil of the Christians.” He appeared to be underlining something which I already felt but could not explain fully at that age. But it was definitely that childhood visit to the Museum of Witchcraft that definitely told me something about myself – rather than something which “lured” me along any kind of Occult Path.
As far as Art goes, I don’t remember “becoming” an Artist at all. I was never attracted to drawing or painting people or landscapes or vases of flowers and nor did I have the capability: I felt like I wanted to create stuff that had no existence before it was actually drawn or painted. In fact, images not yet in existence I felt were insisting on being created by my hand. Nothing appeared to urge or inspire me to create – I simply found myself creating: feeling like I was under orders from an unseen source.
Which artists have inspired you in your creative process?
Because I think my creations are inferences, images and expressions indicating links to Magical processes, then real, genuine Magicians (Crowley, Anger, Spare) are immensely inspiring because they too recognised the Creative Arts and the Black Arts as one and the same thing – with Lucifer the Patron of both.
What is your creative process like and how has the occult, music, ... been an inspiration when shaping you art?
Quite a lot of music is inspirational while not being classed as “Occult”. It might sound rather predictable, but I have found the Lucifer Rising 4CD box set by Bobby Beausoleil to be immensely inspirational, as well as the Jimmy Page 4CD box – with variations on his original soundtrack for Kenneth Anger’s ‘Lucifer Rising’. My only modus operandi is to sit in front of large sheets of cartridge paper and wait to see what happens, as silly as that may sound. Sometimes nothing happens. I try not to think consciously about what to do but to allow the Subconscious free reign. That’s as close as I can get to describing the creative process – if you can call it that. It’s always felt like I’m a willing conduit for whatever has to be committed to paper. There is no “lust for result” involved; nor acceptance or validation of the work from others. Although several pieces indicate mental aberration, this is not a deliberate theme. I prefer to think they are esoteric in ways I have yet to translate or decode. Some appear to indicate one specific thing, or theme, but I feel they have a hidden meaning behind the initial impression. I suppose that’s in the nature of Abstract Art in general.
Are you working with a certain concept in mind or do certain images 'manifest' while active being involved in occult practices?
The only time I have had a specific concept in mind is when I create Talismans – such as the two which I have already posted on your FB Page. Items such as ‘Convocation’ and ‘The Devil Materialising’ are absolutely sourced in post-Ritual impressions/suggestions.
What do you believe is a key element in creating a good composition?
As I’ve said, for me there is no point in consciously setting up an atmosphere or activating an element or formula for success. Due to the spontaneity of the whole thing I couldn’t isolate a key element for creating a successful piece of work.
What do you feel makes your work unique and truly your own?
I’d like to think my stuff has a certain originality about it and perhaps if there is anything unique involved it must be connected to the Self – which is every person’s last bastion of Individualism, should they recognise it.
How has your style changed over the years?
The style hasn’t really changed regarding the ink-drawings. There are two distinct expressions: ink-drawings and a small number of paintings. I think the style of the paintings is far more variable in nature.
Self Portrait (1978)
Golf After Death (1979)
The Great Schizophrenic (1988)
The War (1990)
The Dance (1997)
LHP Talisman (2005)
The Devil Materialising (2007)
The Invented God (2007)