Burning, stitching and varnishing the Hard Way. Taking something beautiful and giving it new life

This series of work is closely connected with the Autosomal work. I was contacted by Toyota UK in November 2015; an executive from Lexus had seen my work at a previous exhibition and wanted to incorporate my work in one of the company's advertising campaigns.

The Hard Way campaign demonstrated the 11 tests Lexus put their Leathers through to ensure that it is the best it can be for their car interiors. These tests included burning with blow torch, puncture test and abrasions. They wanted me to use my burning, stitching and varnishing technique with their Leather to produce some artwork.

Using some of the most expensive leather I’ve seen, I created a series of pieces. The leather was much harder to burn and stitch than canvas. The burning was far more controlled than the canvas I was used to working with; also due to the thickness of the leather the layering element was restricted to only two. At first I was hesitant to varnish the leather as it was so beautiful, but the team at Toyota insisted that they wanted me to do what ever I would usually do to create my work. I’m so glad I did, the varnish on the leather is so crisp and really enhances the burn and the colour of the leather. These pieces look far more organic than the original pieces, with the leather appearing to gain a flesh -like quality.

I have produced a series of close up photography to enhance this work. I really enjoy taking these photographs. I can only roughly work out what I’m aiming the camera at so the results are hit and miss but some of the images are very striking, breathing new life into the original work. It again allows for mass production of my work; I find it really interesting that people are drawn to the different forms of my work.