River City is a mixed media acrylic painting on a canvas frame. It belongs to a series of paintings loosely based on the city of Cambridge. We can never really know a particular place or location, not in a purely visual sense, not even through the so called objectivity objectivity of the camera lens. There are so many different ways of seeing, understanding and interpreting; our view of the world is a subjective, personal experience. It changes as we change. The Cubists new a thing or two about perception.
I developed this painting through an exchange of ideas, thoughts and materials, you could call it a dialogue. What you see here is the result of many ‘conversations’, a constant give and take between what I think I have to say as a painter and what the painting says to me. A painting will invariably contradict me and tell me I am mistaken, on the wrong track. Sometimes, I delude myself into thinking I am in charge but I know my place; ‘painting’ is a collaboration, a combined effort, an ongoing debate. What you see here is a partnership between planning and accident, conceit and humility, confidence and deflation, wisdom and foolishness, seeing and not seeing.
If you are visiting Ely in Cambridgeshire do come along to the Old Fire Engine House to see an exhibition of recent paintings by myself, Paul Janssens and Caroline Foward. The exhibition is called EXPLORE and the preview night is on the 3rd October, 6 – 8pm. We would love to see you there.
I stumbled across this ready-made Christo in the grounds of Anglesey Abbey, near Cambridge. I think they would be delighted.
‘When Christo began to wrap objects in 1958, he used everyday objects such as shoes, telephones and empty paint cans to make his sculptures. Once wrapped, the objects would take on a new identity. By wrapping them, he would reveal some of the most basic features and proportions of the object by concealing the actual item. Christo and Jeanne-Claude later expanded this idea in projects such as The Pont Neuf Wrapped and the Wrapped Reichstag, but on a much larger scale. While the intricate details of the structures are hidden, the essence of the structures are revealed all the while making the imposing and solid structure seem airy and nomadic’.
‘The use of real fabric also gives the work a fragile, sensual and temporary character while wrapping objects is definitely an important part of their œuvre, Christo and Jeanne-Claude have done very few wrappings in comparison to their whole portfolio of artworks. It is easier for some to grasp the wrapping concept and refer to their artworks entirely as “wrapping,” but the work is more about altering an environment than wrapping – which is only one way to do that. The last time the artists had an idea for a wrapping was in 1975, when they had the idea of wrapping the Pont-Neuf in Paris, ten years before they realized the work of art.’
This photograph consists of 4 high resolution digital files; they have been combined to create a highly detailed recording of the Gothic cathedral of Ely. This image can be printed to poster scale without loss of resolution. The sky has been removed to create a strong graphic quality and to focus attention on the rich shapes and elaborate structure of the façade.
Cambridge Open Studios will be taking place over the next 4 weekends and this is a fantastic opportunity to have a chat with some of the local artists in the county and look at their work. I will be opening my ‘garage’ – seems a little grandiose to call it a studio – for the next two weekends from 11am until 6 pm Saturday and Sunday. Everyone is welcome to come and see what I have been producing over the last copule of years. I will also have some of my photographic work on display alongside the paintings.
The shot above was taken today…just trying to organise the space as you can see…if you do drop in, just be careful of the wet paint!
This is a large acrylic painting on a 122 cm x 72 cm professional quality canvas. It is semi abstract in terms of technique and style. It is based on the rhythms and cycle of growth seen in nature. There is a spiralling arc of movement…….. upwards towards the light. The surface is built up in heavy impasto layers, these are combined with tissue, leaves, newsprint and card. Additional translucent glazes have been added over time. I have been influenced by the contemporary artists Anselm Kiefer and Gerhardt Richter.