the pressure cooker


floating hot pomegranate, oil on paper ©

After I chose a name for this blog (and it was not my first choice but the process became an exploration of internet mind-meld), I did a random search on RadicaLight and found that this is also the brand name of a high-quality pressure-cooker–one of those miraculous pots that uses trapped heat and steam pressure to transform your ingredients into quickly cooked edibles (or, in the case of leeks, primordial ooze). For about a nanosecond I was disappointed, but then I realised that this was a pretty useful metaphor for what artists do.

We take our ingredients–pigments, canvas, myth, objects, light, shadow, ideas, history, philosophy, muffins, bones, graphite, songs, blood, plants, words, rocks, whatever we’re using that day–and transform them through the pressure of our creative impulses into something else. Maybe something delicious; maybe something resembling primordial ooze. And then it’s there, and it becomes a part of everything else. Not bad.


Radical is a word that has always appealed to me, and occasionally been applied to me. I looked up free radical: an unattached particle which is responsible for a lot of shenanigans on a cellular level, such as combustion, but one that can also cause cell damage and disease. We won’t worry about that part. Take your Vitamin C and forget it. Another interesting biochemical definition: any transient species. I learned that a free radical communicates with other particles through “redox signaling”. I like that, too.

And of course, light. I had a sort of mini epiphany not long ago that all I work with, really, is light and its counterpart, shadow. These are my tools, these are my riddle. This is of course not so profound on the surface, in fact it’s embarrassingly self-evident. But sometimes revisiting the seemingly obvious can reveal many layers of nuance. This is what I am exploring with my work.


what is it about?


one day the sky

one day the sky

I study light in a place where we have so much of it, we are rich in light.