The imperative to add light or illuminate can be read as biblical. Probably it is more comfortable to settle for the literal and not venture into the philosophical.
As such, a series of small works explored how forms are abstracted by light in the dark. each one pushing different boundaries of legibility. How comfortable are we when looking at an image? Do we want to have a ‘something’ to hang on to? How important are titles in challenging that interest? A painters desire is to make images that make a convincing case, either way.
Landing at Heathrow makes my heart pound. Both with nerves (or nausea) and the excitement of coming home, I look forward to the sensation of terra ferma beneath my feet.
Cities are transformed by night. Coloured lights in the dark become wonderlands where the evil and the good co exist. Clandestine curiosity continues with this land/sky scape.
The abstract hovering shape on the right, establishes itself in its ‘thingness’ convincingly. There is no doubt of its existence. Science fiction becomes reality as this form casts a shadow below dwarfing an illuminated city.
Abstract, quick horizontal gestural marks on a dark ground have a particular tempo as they move up and down the right side of the picture plane. Musical ideas are underscored by the title ‘Cool’……implying a hip kind of nonchalance. Eschewing the heat of the companion work ‘Warm Night’, this image has a more reduced palette. Here, a spiralling orb like moon is a counterweight which dialogues with the rectilinear in space.
Day for me is finite and relates to work. By contrast, the night is open ended, both in time and possibilities. Philosophically, together with ‘Cool Night’ these images are suggestive of a romantic, enveloping space where dogs bark and fables are fabricated.
The strange yellowish orb/moon hovers above and a small blue dot below is an irrational intervention which de sentimentalises the image.
Rain and grey skies fill me with nostalgia. When will holidays abroad be possible once more? Looking at this work, I yearn for the day when we will be able to revisit loved locations.
Motivationally, my concern for the environment was paramount when I made this painting.
Horizontal feathery low clouds in the distance created a vastness reinforcing a sense of the void. Above, a diagonal line left by the trail of a plane’s flight path seemed to slash across the sky as it entered the cumulous cloud to the west. My joyful holiday spirit was interrupted by the reality check considering the effect that this fuel guzzler would have on the world. Notwithstanding these views I still boarded those big birds (local Tesco is fine, but it’s a long way to Cape Town or New York). Oh for magic, wand waving technology that finds substitutes with less carbon emissions which are cost effective.
Interlinked cube like shapes suggest interpersonal relationships co existing in space. The title Tikkun Olam highlights a desire for us to live together in harmony, in an attempt to be our better selves.
This is a companion work to ‘Firmament’, both explore similar themes of Above/Below and Good/Evil.
In trying to address my sense of metaphysical loneliness, I am fascinated by the philosophy of the theologian Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907-1972). His notion of ‘radical amazement’ is understood by him as the feeling one has when experiencing the presence of the Divine.
Mine is a yearning to address the universal sense of spirituality in the most persuasive, painterly terms.
As the biblical title suggests, this work notionally begins to reference ideas of spirit and soul. Literally and physically, this painting was one of the earliest images made in the land/sea/sky scapes.
Imagining deep feelings and beliefs, and not wanting to be tied to the specific is delicate. At the risk of syrupy preachiness, it feels more familiar to consider the universal in paint rather than words.