The story behind The Key To Happiness Series

It was on holiday in Athens in 2011 where the seed of ‘The key To Happiness’ series was planted. Whilst wandering around the markets in this ancient city, I suddenly noticed how many old keys were on display. There where boxes upon boxes full of old rusted keys all in different shapes and sizes. Some keys where hooked on big circular metal key rings looking old, rusty and weathered. Junk if you will. It must have been on the second or third day seeing these keys that it struck me that the shape they created as a group where both bold, graphic and beautiful with hundreds of secrets locked within. I started to make up stories in my head about the places they could have belonged and what they could unlock. They had immense appeal in a strange way I did not understand at the time.

I deeply wanted to buy some of these old keys but failed to admit how taken I was with them until I had gotten home. What would I have done with them anyway if I got them home? Hung them on the wall? At the time I was trying hard to limit the clutter and hoarding of seemingly useless items for various creative projects. This is something I find hard to do. But the image of the keys in Athens never left my memory and back home in London I obsessively started to sketch keys in all different shapes and sizes using a wide range of different mediums. 

My sketches evolved and the keys started to look more like characters. Key characters in my life. Having just taken the leap from full-time work as an in-house print designer, a job I held for six years, to focus on my own work I found I was re-assessing what truly makes me happy. I found that my personal Key To Happiness is simply having time to create. What you see or what you read into the evolving work produced under the title ‘The key to happiness’ is totally up to you. People have told me they see all kinds of different things. I love that everyone has their own subjective interpretation.

Ultimately, this series of work is about the moment in grown up life I came to accept and acknowledge that being in the creative zone is when I am the happiest. Whilst you search for your personal Key To Happiness my keys are here to keep you company, if you like.

Above some  some of the prints & paintings created under this working title.  Available here