Kevin Collins

Date:06 December, 2021

Artist Statement


Liminality is the best description I can think of to describe my work, it refers to the state between conscious (supraliminal) and unconscious (subliminal) which recalls so much of my working process. 

The difference between a dream, though and ‘real life’ often intersect in my universe. Accused of not being able to focus at school my world has never been one of dogged focus with clear outcome in mind. Long term planning is often what I am going to have for dinner. Today, right now, is very exciting for me, thus the blank canvas is loaded with possibilities every time.

My world is a curious duality in which conforming has always been incredibly difficult however I am certainly never to be associated with the celebrated myth of the ‘tortured artist’. I paint what I am, which is really a positive, curious and highly personal (but I hope sufficiently universal for anyone to engage) journey. The small items that are embedded in my mind from years ago are still so vivid and vital although others a faded fragment.

To quote Francis Bacon’s words of “courting accidents”, my application of paint and mark making is often spontaneous and not particularly well planned – the joy of accidents in material and mark making is incredibly exciting for me.

At the grand age of 83, the renowned author and artist who made ‘Where the Wild Things Are” come to life, Maurice Sendak said:

“I can’t believe I’ve turned into a typical old man. I can’t believe it.” He smiles and his face transforms. 

“I was young just minutes ago.”

Now I am twenty years younger than Maurice and yet I often feel that I was young only minutes ago.

Many of my ceramics, and especially those on show in this exhibition are inspired by the way children manage to live in fantasy and reality; how they move back and forth very easily in a way we no longer remember how to do as adults. I admire this ability. 

Try it sometime, it is most liberating.

The work emerges from a lump of cold wet mud essentially and forms it’s persona as it moves across my work table. Seldom do I consider too carefully the final image but rather let them manifest on a whim the moment I start putting down the marks of underglaze.


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