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The Poetry Pictures 1986-89

These nautical paintings were completed as part of my degree show. The paintings were often a response to literature and poetry such as the work of Wordsworth, Herman Melville and Arthur Rimbaud.

 

 The central image is of a boat and forms of navigation and measurement.
They are very decorative paintings and often include unconventional materials such as carpet and sand.
   
 These paintings also signal my interest in the physical characteristics of the support. They are often  shaped or irregular supports.

 

Still Life 1989-90
I became fascinated by the challenge of painting real objects against very flat backgrounds. The objects are all items that I would use or see everyday.
    The backgrounds are often quoted from specific locations (Philharmonic Pub - Sienna Cathedral) They all have the power to invoke the type of memory described by Proust in Remembrance of Things Past
 
 I think with these paintings I wanted to make fleeting memories visually concrete rather than vague or misty. I wanted formal clarity combined with poetic suggestion.
 
 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

Coded Surfaces 1993-97

These paintings left behind the poetry in favour of city spaces and surfaces. I was very interested in the way surfaces are 'coded'.

For example in pubs , banks and restaurants. I was also interested in working on shaped supports so that the paintings operated as objects.
 
 
Synthetic Romantic Paintings 2000
These paintings are really the start of my current work. They combine my interest in the surface of the support with an interest in a 'synthetic' production of painterly surfaces.
 
 The surface of the painting is the painting of a surface.
 In some ways I just wanted to find ways of making paintings that could challenge the widely held belief that painting was a ‘dead form’ of expression.
 

 

 I felt that even totally mechanical paintings could still evoke a response in a viewer. By acknowledging the process by which this happens I could continue to paint the kind of paintings that I wanted to paint.
 

 

 

 

 The second aspect of this series was a desire to paint pictures that could not be simply turned into images. That is they had to be seen as an object. To this end I eliminated all surface ‘marks’ and attempted to make the image and surface indistinguishable.
 
Romantic clichés such as landscape, moon light or sunsets became my preoccupation.
   
 

 

  

    

              

The Fabric Pictures 2006

These painting on fabric are very theatrical. Some are actually painted on silk cushions and are meant to be seen as metaphors for the Romantic imagination or dream. The cushions are all called Wagners's Head

 

 

 

  

Sex and Violence Pictures 2009/10   
 

These fragments I have shored against my ruins'

(T.S. Elliot The Waste Land)

These paintings are taken from fragments of classical paintings that evoke an Arcadian scene or pleasurable existence. The original paintings are very beautiful as surfaces but now seem very alien to our modern sensibility or taste.

 

I have chosen to focus on scenes that are ambiguous or disturbing. My ‘damaged’ paintings suggest an attempt to reconstruct ( an impossible task) this lost arcadia*.

 (*The possibility of meaning within contemporary painting)
 

See details below

 
        

        

   
 

 

 

 

Right The Painter 2010- detail oil on Hammerite on board

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Right  Watteau Encounter 2009- detail Oil on Hammerite on board

     

 

Tuscan Icons 2011-12

 

My current paintings are a fusion of holiday brochure  swimming pools and renaissance landscape paintings. They are all painted on gold supports, suggesting panels from altarpieces that might be seen on a Tuscan holiday.

The pool pictures in brochures are always very deep blue and have dramatic perspectives. The paintings represent a middle class fantasy that combines exclusive Italian villas within easy reach of cultural centres such as Siena or Arezzo. (Summers Lease 1988 John Mortimer)

The paintings also make reference to the type of landscape that is often depicted through windows or behind a religious subject in renaissance paintings.

The landscapes used by artists of this period are a strange mix of observation and generic forms. The landscape is often depicted as a well ordered, productive and controlled space. The notion of landscape as a fantasy, as an escape is already there in these early paintings (an escape from the city). This fantasy can be seen in literature of the period such as the Decameron by Boccaccio (1351).

The paintings are a further exploration of how our experience of nature and landscape are constructed through culture. In terms of contemporary practice I am thinking of painters such as Ged Quinn and Martin Greenland.

See details below

    

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

Right  L' Ermero Sunset detail. 2011 Oil on Board       55x55cm

                              

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Right  Bellini Pool detail 2011 Oil on Board  55x55cm