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About the Paintings

In the church of San Zeno in Verona Andrea Mantegna’s triptych is a painting that the public cannot get close to. At a distance of twenty feet it has everything I look for in a painting: a very taut structure, symmetry and geometry, a glowing surface, and an intensity of colour that dictates that you travel through and round the shapes and up and down the picture. One is first drawn by the pinks, then the greens and yellows and then, shockingly, by the darker tones that leap out to the front of the picture as well as taking you back into the depths. The picture has a complex subject. But what I am most interested in is the journey the eye makes, dictated by colour alone. Since my paintings are essentially about the relationship of one colour to another I would like to think they encourage this sort of visual journey. Though they appear quite simple my paintings don’t come easily! They are worked on for months, a bit like a mathematician might work on a difficult equation. They start with a tight design, but there is much shifting of shape, form, colour, tone –and even of overall structure - until something approaching a resolution emerges. This amount of overpainting and correction ends up (fortuitously) with the colour intensifying into a sort of enamelled surface, which I like very much. 

 

 

 

About the Sculptures

My sculptures were born of a chance encounter with a wood flooring specialist who, after laying our floors in French oak, was surprised by my request that he leave behind the boxes of off-cuts that were destined for the dump. From out of these boxes of ‘detritus’ – I was able to make my sculptures. No trimming or changing of the bits was allowed. The fun was to use the ingredients as they surfaced in response to my rummaging hands. To my amazement I found that each new sculpture defined itself differently from the one before. Making sense of the ‘bits’ was the challenge. And the ‘bits’ dictated the form. I am pleased to say that not a single off-cut was thrown away. They all found their way into one or other of the sculptures. e

 

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