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Visual Art 2018-11-19T09:19:06+00:00

Most of my current work is created on various types and gauges of paper, often using a ‘resist’ of some sort in the form of wax, oil and occasionally varnish or starch in combination with different water-based pigments. This tends to make the paper translucent and allows my colours to change subtly over time. I use the resulting relationship, in which these materials repel or embrace one another, as a basic metaphor for all human interaction. Life drawing and the human form underpins all of my art, even in those works which appear close to abstraction… click here to read more

I am fascinated by the relationship between oil and water, resisting and repelling one another, yet at the same time occasionally creating a union which can be extraordinarily beautiful. In the natural world they are normally kept apart, one buried deep beneath the other, but when humankind has intervened the two have sometimes been introduced to one another with disastrous consequences. As a boy I remember watching fascinated through binoculars as the oil released from the wrecked tanker Torrey Canyon was relentlessly bombed by RAF planes in an attempt to stop it spreading to the Cornish coast. It reminded me of one of those low budget horror movies in which the military is called in to attack some monster which has emerged by human agency from a lost world or from the depths of the ocean.

As an artist I try to use this interaction as a metaphor for human relationships by introducing a third element into the equation, paper, and by extending the literal meanings of ‘oil’ and ‘water’. A simple conjuring trick, shown to pupils at art classes around the world, is to draw on a blank sheet of paper with a white household candle, then introduce a wash of watercolour so that the original drawing magically appears. Hold it up to the light and you see that the structure of the paper has been transformed, making it translucent. These basic acts underpin almost all of my current work, though over the years I have refined and experimented with the three elements involved.

I often draw using a liquid element of crushed compressed charcoal dissolved in oil into which I dip a solid element – the compressed charcoal itself. In a recent series of works (Hispano-Mauresque) inspired by a residency in Morocco I have combined this technique with a coloured element derived from mixing Moroccan earth pigments with oil, into which I have made my own calligraphic marks, each back-lit by an LED screen. In so doing I have tried to explore a particular period of North African/southern European history in relation to current events on the global stage.

I use my images as a means of visiting the past and the future in search of human experiences which are both widely shared and highly personal. On a certain level the people who appear in my work may be models in the studio or members of my own friends and family. On another they are part of a human family, past, present and future, participating in a process whereby their thoughts, emotions, actions and experiences – both good and evil – are laid down, one upon the other, layer upon layer, so that they may be mined as a source of spiritual heat and light - or of discord and destruction.

Selected Group Shows

1982 Jubilee. Hamilton’s Gallery London

1996 Figureworks. The Small Mansion Arts Centre, London

1997 Checkout. Waterman’s Arts Centre, London

1998 Well Hung. The Small Mansion Arts Centre, London

2000 Family. Karen Taylor Contemporary Art, London

2001 Beyond the Boundaries. Artmonsky Arts

2002 Summer Exhibition, Diesel House, London

2002 Interiors. Karen Taylor Contemporary, London

2003 Small Mansion Artists, London

2008 Inspired!: The British Museum, London

2014 2nd International Biennale of Contemporary Art, Casablanca, Morocco

One Person Exhibitions

1987 Drawings and Dreams. Theatre Royal, Winchester

1989 Drawings and Dreams II. Athawes Art Gallery, London

1998 Down the Garden Path. Small Mansion Arts Centre, London

1999 Innocence and Experience. Studio Gallery, London

2001 Green and Dying. Jersey Galleries, London

2004 Lifelines. Kufa Gallery, London

2005-13 Association for Cultural Advancement through the Visual Arts

2015-16 West London Art Factory

Hispano-Mauresque (1)

Hispano-Mauresque (2)

Hispano-Mauresque (3)

Mkesa

Terror

Two Towers

Two Towers

Two Towers

Door Of No Return

Atlantic Sounds

Terror and the Tree of Life

Coalition

Big Fish

African Burial Ground

Mozambique

Child Soldier

Dearest and The Best

Silk Loom Tunisia

Hispano Mauresque 7

Hispano Mauresque 7

Door

Door

Dan Aido serpent

Dan Aido Serpent

My Father and Uncle Before The War

My Christening

Up Among The Ruins

Down The Garden Path

Killing Time

Ted

Waiting For The Ferry

Waiting For the Ferry

Looking Back

Christ In The Temple

My First Birthday

The End Is Where We Start From

Wheely Bins

Temple

Condemned

The Magic Carpet

Last Day Of the Season

Ice Cream Eaters

Ice Cream Eaters

England and Nowhere

England and Nowhere

Self Portrait

Self Portrait

The Kite Flyers

The Kite Flyers

Dark Mood

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Tribute to Magdalene

Untitled

Tribute to Magdalene

Tribute to Magdalene

At Prayer

Manissa Survived the War

Manissa Survived the War

Flight and Pursuit

Flight and Pursuit

Leaning woman

Leaning

Jenny the Drinker

Jenny the Drinker

Love in the afternoon

Love in the Afternoon

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

My granddaughter Gan with TRG tattoo

My granddaughter Gan with TRG tattoo

Crouching boy

Crouching boy