Questions and thoughts behind the work

sleep which but thy picture be, 2013, oil on canvas, 55 x 55cm

sleep which but thy picture be, 2013, oil on canvas, 55 x 55cm

I am hoping to share my experience of people’s humanity, with all the pain and beauty that is involved in that. My aim is for the image to help the viewer find that extra bit of humanity in themselves in resonance with the struggles of figure of the painting. Some of the paintings have no figure, but there is an implication of human presence through a dwelling or an interior.
To communicate human presence without restricting its freedom and life, I use arrested moments, condensed in observational drawings, and then expand them in my mind and practice as I paint from them. I explore the potential of memory and attention to transform awareness from banality to something more fecund. There is often considerable delay between initial drawings and making a painting.

The intervening time creates new perspectives on the source material, leaving me free to use it in an emotionally unencumbered way. This then opens up the idea of creating my own references and archive, and on the process of selection in autobiography. It also raises questions about the nature of time, the point of time represented becoming more fully realised than the moment was in itself. There is the opportunity to take it further and reveal aspects which were not originally visible, within the new time/space that the painting makes available. I have done this with a number of personally charged experiences, and found the work resulting to be able at the best times to span the tangible-intangible divide.

oil on linen 110 x 110 cms

Peter’s Study, 2014, oil on linen
110 x 110 cms

I am inspired by Marcel Proust and his returning to episodes, people and places in a very fluidly created time and space. I would like to be able to develop this aspect further, extending time backwards and inwards, and by depicting the spaces in which the images occur with contrasting precision in detail and abstraction. I hope to find ways of working more with photographs alongside drawings. However, the fact of having been and drawn to something and making a handmade record of it, using only my own history and capacity at the time to do so is an integral part of the rules of engagement.

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