Wednesday, 29 December 2010


As I prepare to go to Cyprus for a few weeks, I'm thinking about the way that no one thing affects the way a painting evolves. Poetry flows from layers of experience, finds its path into a painterly vision from mulitple scents, sights and emotions, and memories.

'Choices: Carob Trees and Figures at Dusk' emerged through the act of painting, and through the realisation that the points of red paint could be a metaphor for the last rays of the sun during a walk along the coast in Paphos. The choices represent paint choices, as much as referring to the choices we all make as human beings. It was painted 3 months after my experience of the coastal walks, but I start to wonder if perhaps that passage of time allows a purer synthesis of
the original sensations. Links are constantly forged, broken, re-created, and drop into a painting in unexpected ways. I find the contrasts between painting in situ, painting from memory, and the many walks here and abroad coagulate and re-assemble in my work in ways that are increasingly exciting me.
('Choices: Carob Trees and Figures at Dusk,' Oil and acrylic, 91cm x 61cm)

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Overlapping Lives

As I prepare to continue work on a large commission, I'm remembering the many commissions I undertook when I lived in Cyprus. The memories are particularly poignant as the painting I've been commissioned to do is based on one of my favourite themes, Nicosia at night. I have always loved night and random views through windows onto people's lives. In Nicosia, people tend to live on their balconies, especially in the summer. I'd push my way through crowds on the pavements, catching snippets of conversations, while my eyes were always drawn to figures on balconies above. They would be sitting at tables eating, or watching a TV pulled out of a half-lit room. Sofas jostled for space with plant pots. Lights flickered eerily within fluorescent rectangles, curtains danced in the longed for breezes, and figures leaned wearily across their washing and watched me move past. Lives overlapped, breaths were shared, and heartbeats echoed within shimmering blocks of yellows and greens.
Sometimes I sat on the flat roof of my building in darkness and watched shadowy forms moving inside semi-lit rooms. My eyes journeyed through the many shades of Night's interiors. All the time I tried to memorise the particular warmth, scent and pulse of night. Gradually it seeped into me.
The painting has evolved from these memories. I know the streets intimately, I know those crooked balconies and unevenly spaced rectangles of colour. I can smell fried food, hear the chink of dishes. It is a theme I could paint forever because within each brushstroke I'm reliving my walks and the warm passages of night life.
('Nicosia Night,' 120cm by 60cm, oil on canvas - work in progress.)