I have always been fascinated by the almost pre historic allure of trees post pruning. Branches contort and assume sculptural gravitas that speak of wisdom and history as they prepare for winter. I never tire of the way glorious ganglionic tips conclude and contain tree stems like an old Shaman’s gnarled hands.
Heroically, a single tree, flanked by the rectilinear series of houses is important at centre stage. Small distant trees do not devalue that central motif. In this urban space, one tree holds more symbolic potential than a thicket. Brooding skies amplify that drama with sound and colour.
During lockdown, I have imagined many narratives this summer, and it’s been wonderful celebrating this old friend’s return to youthful vigour. Until Autumn.
The last of the Hitchcock series, this painting focuses on the tree which has been in the background of the companion works. Being relatively small formats, my hope is that the viewer will come close to the image, creating an intimate capsule where surface colour and brushwork are enjoyed as they blur into abstraction. Lone trees take on greater importance for me when isolated, allowing narratives to come to life.
Two cars seen through a car window on a stormy night set the tone for danger. Acid yellow rectangle of car bonnet is electrifying and the contrast to the remaining elements in reduced palette sets a sense of theatre.
A sense of drama is heightened by quick, loose brushstrokes and a reduced palette in this small work. Very simply, three elements are arranged in the landscape, becoming the site of potential danger. Irrationally, as with Hitchcock’s films, irrespective of where/what the source of danger is, tension is maintained.
Playing on words, this painting both concludes a series of 5 works as well as literally picturing the rear end of a plane.
Coloured dots and dashes suggest a kind of morse code……for me, one informed by too many filmic moments of flight navigation. Iconic and familiar colours on the tail of the British Airways plane are quickly identified. Hopefully, the image is redeemed by abstraction, here transforming the commercial poster to the less utilitarian.
Seems prescient how a small painting can herald the end of an era.
My children used to say ‘parking off’…..implying chilling on the sofa with a cup of tea, tin of biscuits and a favourite video. Insouciant of homework and exams, they left me to worry. Regretfully as adults, ‘parking’ now means late appointments and traffic fines .
In this work a parked plane divides the image in two. Horizontal parallel elements are repeated, keeping the large central light shape static whilst top diagonals vibrate. Since the travel ban, this image is reminiscent of a time long gone. Endless press releases showing neat formations of unused planes is frightening. I wonder if and how our society is going to recover.
A phallic whitish form disrupts a dark ground in the lower half of the image as circular shapes bounce off each other above. A sense of vibration is created by the blurred soft edges of all the elements and the echoed mirror image of erotic energy below.
Reproduction is an approximation for the real thing.
Sometimes to its advantage, other times less so. Scale is a big factor. At best, works should animate the viewing distance and magnetise the audience in one way or another. A small image naturally forces one to approach…..a device not suited to all. Some prefer the bombast of the big. We are used to sound bites…..time poor, we want the message quick and fast. Contemplation feels too laboured. Perhaps intimacy is less familiar, unless mediated by a techno screen.
My paintings challenge is to slow the process down, in the hope that something will resonate with another.