Abandoned house on the road to Gyles’ Quay

I just can’t resist the aesthetic of abandoned buildings. Yes, I know it’s a photographic cliche but there was something about this particular building that caught my attention. This was a house that had surrendered to the inevitable, engulfed by weeds and brambles and sinking beneath a tidal wave of vegetation, yet somehow it remained stoic and dignified. A personification of managed decline and acceptance in stone and slate.

For the photographers amongst you, I agree, I should have used a graduated filter or at least bracketed the exposure for the sky. On the plus side, the bleached out sky emphasises the symmetry and shape of the house.

Gyles’ Quay is an isolated stretch of beach located 1 km south of the R173/R175 road on the Cooley Peninsula in the north of County Louth in Ireland. It was named after Ross Gyles who built a wood structure there in 1780. It was later rebuilt in stone in 1824 and survives to this day.

Ely Cathedral

The entrance to Ely Cathedral

Visitors to the Cathedral usually enter through the great West Door in the Galilee Porch. The term ‘Galilee’ simply means a porch or entrance. The Porch is built of Barnock stone & Purbeck marble from Dorset and is an example of Early English Gothic architecture.

Highly regarded by historians and architects from all over the world for its beauty and size, Ely Cathedral is the only UK building to be listed as one of the “Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages”. Visible for miles around, the Cathedral is often referred to as “The Ship of the Fens”.

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River City

 

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River City

Acrylic painting on canvas 100 x 100 cm

I am currently working on a series of paintings based on the city of Cambridge in the UK.

This is a multi layered mixed media acrylic painting on a high quality canvas frame. I am currently working on a series of paintings based on the city of Cambridge. I don’t believe that we can ever really know a particular place or location, not in a purely objective way, not even through the ‘impartiality’ of a camera lens. There are so many different ways of seeing, understanding and interpreting; our view of the world is a subjective, personal experience.

I have developed these paintings through a sort of conversational process, an exchange of ideas and thoughts; of talking and listening. What you see here is the result of many such conversations; a constant give and take between what I think I have to say as a painter and what the painting has to say to me. The painting often contradicts me and frequently suggests that I may be mistaken in my views. Out of consideration for my feelings it may abruptly suggest alternative ways of progressing. I sometimes delude myself into thinking I am directing the conversation but I know that this human activity of ‘painting’ is a joint construction, a combined effort. What you see here is a partnership between planning and accident, conceit and humility, confidence and deflation, wisdom and foolishness, a conversation between friends……we were just talking about the city…..I expect the conversation will continue.

Citadel

Citadel

This is an acrylic painting on a high quality canvas frame. It is based on my experiences of the city of Cambridge. Although I have visited the city many times and I know it well, this is not a visual record of specific places, or a celebration of a well known structure or familiar architectural motif. This is a city of the imagination. The artist Paul Klee said it far more eloquently than I could; even though he was using the idea of a tree (not a city) to illustrate his point.

“……..Nobody would affirm that the tree grows its crown in the image of its root. Between above and below can be no mirrored reflection. It is obvious that different functions expanding in different elements must produce divergences”.

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