Exhibitions

March 12, 2017

Drawings

What to do if someone steps on your paper.

This is one of a series of drawings I made that explore meticulously drawn splash marks.

The mirror image of junk.

Debris and Rubbish in a gestural landscape.

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January 10, 2016

Sculptural work

 

Greenman in Yellow Square UEL, Docklands Campus

Greenman in Yellow Square UEL, Docklands Campus

This figure was originally made for a music event in Wanstead Park. The first manifestation was little more than the head mounted onto a pole which was garlanded with a sheet and flowers to depict a pagan deity. After this event I decided that I wanted to build a more substantial figure and so began long process of gathering driftwood from the around the shores of the UK. The figure came to this final shape after a period of five years, mostly because of the problems of finding suitable sized and shaped wood. Since its completion I have harboured a desire to make another figure of similar height, perhaps an Earth mother to accompany the Green man (although I feel that he has an ambiguous sexuality).

Greenman-from-the-west

Greenman-from-the-west

Greenman Head

Greenman Head

Greenman on site

Greenman in the Yellow Square

 

Greenman showing details

Greenman showing details

 

 


 

Greenman sited on Beetle Bump

Greenman sited on Beetle Bump

This is the Greenman erected on the Beetle Bump site at Docklands Campus. This is a piece of land that was discovered to be the habitat of a rare beetle and colleagues in the Biosciences department asked if it could be sited on the Bump to highlight the presence of this SSI (site of special scientific interest). I put him up on a concrete plinth in December 2013. Several days later a storm with 80 mph winds broke both of his ankles.

Probably not a aerodynamic enough for him spot then!

Greenman on the Beetle Bump at Docklands

Greenman on the Beetle Bump at Docklands

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

This page shows some of the sculptural work I have made over the past few years. I began making these things in cardboard as at the request of some local organisations who wanted props for social, charitable and theatrical events. After a while I found myself making more and more quirky objects out of corrugated cardboard, torn and stuck together with a glue gun. gradually this activity took on a life of its own with ever more ambitious objects. These objects form a part of a large work called ‘Vanitas’, an archaic term around the idea of memento-mori.


 

Skull part of Vanitas installation

Skull

We seem to be going around in circles.

We seem to be going around in circles.

Installation image

Installation image

Vanitas installation

Vanitas installation, Memento mori

These objects form a part of a large work called ‘Vanitas’, an archaic term around the idea of memento-moro. This device is often used within historical still-life paintings. It proposes the idea that no matter how materially wealthy one becomes in life, all is evened out in death. The objects themselves often incorporate textual references; the globe, for example is circled with the words; ‘we seem to be going around in circles’.

This maybe a symptom of my own feelings of the mysteries of text (I discovered that I was dyslexic some 15 or so years ago).

The installation is framed and mounted on a platform of grey slate. These slates are actually shelves that housed the public records in Somerset House. I was able to recover some of these before most were skipped unfortunately.

The print on the back wall is redolent of the same concerns as the sculpture, skeletal forms in high colour.

I am reminded of a surgeon friend who remarked, “We are all the same on the inside.”

 

 

 

 

 


This piece is one of my first ventures into object making. After making some real books, the idea of a contained sequence, especially of images, fascinated me. But I was also I became intrigued by their material qualities. The book has often been used in art historical terms to depict learning or academic prowess and I began to feel that this symbol or signifier could point more humorously to the ambiguity of education as a marketable commodity.

Quoting Tony Blair’s famous,”Education, Education, Education.” remark seemed to perfectly sum up this dichotomy.

Book with random letters

Education, Education, Education

Red Book

Look on these Works ye Mighty and Despair!

 

The red book piece contains a fragment of text  from Percy Bysshe Shelly’s sonnet, “Ozymandias”. It is a reflection on the nature of hubris and power.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

This shell represented a real challenge, it is about a metre long and made of cardboard.  Making something, seemingly organic in such an unforgiving material represented quite a trial. I think there is a meditative aspect of struggling with materials that won’t readily bend to ones will that ignites my creative energy. Bloodymindedness is probably a strong motivator of creative problem solving.  I recently read an article that talked of the need for humans to experience penitence to bring a sense of worth to life.

Shell

Is there anyone out there?

The title of this piece is a humorously analogy to our place in the scheme of things!

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January 27, 2014

Recent Paintings

An interpretation of Tiepolo's 'Venus and Time'.

Collateral Damage, Oil on Canvas, 3ft X 2ft.

Busy skies over the holy land.

Against stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in vain.

An attempt at making sense of our crazy world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oil painting depicting Gods and mortals in an ever chaotic cycle.

The Kabuki theatre or cutting edge

Art School Hokey Cokey

 

 
The Art School cycle.

One giant step forwards, two giants steps back.

Surveyors with a thankless task.

 

One giant step forwards, two giants steps back.

Big blue shopping trolley

Blue Shopping Trolley

This is a small painting in acrylic, including some fluorescent colours. I am alluding to the ubiquitous archeology of waste that is gradually choking the planet to death. Perhaps consumer fatigue will save us from this slow suffocation of expiring in our effluent?


 

Letters

Letters

More experiments with beautiful rubbish.


 

Child of Prometheus diptych

Child of Prometheus diptych

This diptych explores the rise of the ‘geek’ or ‘the geek that will inherit the Earth’. Resonant of the Promethean legend, the figure stands alone on a craggy mountain top, the ‘eagles’ circle menacingly but the object of their attention isn’t Prometheus.


 

Superfluous man descending into the Abyss of Meaning

Descending into the Abyss of Meaning

This painting is a part of the superfluous man series, our legendary explorer slides into a a bottomless chasm in search of romantic adventure but instead finds the realm of subjectivity and disillusion. Increasingly I find that our political class seem to inhabit these fantastic realms of historical mythology. The press seems full of examples.


 

Superfluous man exploring the Caves of Longing

Exploring the Caves of Longing

Another superfluous old-school chap exploring a mysterious, hidden world. It is a gothic place with colossal ruination, the machines of a long dead imaginary Empire.


 

Myth Cycle, oil on canvas diptych

Myth Cycle

This diptych explores Man’s (and I probably do mean ‘the male’ here!) need for myth-making. The idea of wiping out the past as Isis is intent on doing is interestingly mirrored by the ‘realities-based communities’ term attributed to Karl Rove in 2004. The quote comes from a New York Times Magazine article by Ron Suskind called ‘Faith,Certainty and the Presidency of George W. Bush’. It exemplifies the hubris that seems to afflict leaders of all persuasions, but also points to a basic tribal mentality that needs to annihilate evidence of the ‘other’.


 

Out of Sight, Out of Mind. Oil on canvas diptych

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

This painting was made for an exhibition at UEL in the AVA Gallery curated by Richard Wilson entitled ‘River’. The oil painting is in a perhaps a homage to the River Lea as it was before the 2012 Olympic clear-up. A much improved environment, although I rather regret the loss of an important, and for me influential ‘terrains vague’ as the French say. The English translation is much more pejorative: ‘wasteland’.

The Loss Adjuster Cometh

And Lo The Loss Adjuster Cometh

This oil painting has gone through several states, and seems increasingly relevant as merry England (and Scotland) begin to disappear under increasingly frequent bouts of flooding.

The Alchemist

The Curious World of Academic Research

I started this painting about 2009-10 but only finished it in 2012. It is a complicated narrative and has a variety of influences. The main ones are Holbein’s painting of ‘Ambassadors’ in the National Gallery in London, although there is a strong influence of Joseph Wright of Derby (‘Experiment with an Air Pump’ and ‘The Alchemist’). It brings together my fascination with the mysterious rooms, full of exotic equipment that litter our University Campuses. A world of highly focussed (and probably slightly odd) people who conduct strange experiments in the pursuit of ‘knowledge’.

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July 20, 2012

Recent Prints

This page shows some of the printmaking work that I have made over the past few years. These are predominantly etchings although recently I have experimented with digital printmaking.

Citadel of the Ancients or Beckton Gas Works?

Citadel of the Ancients or Beckton Gas Works?

This work was started about 15 years ago and only completed this month (Jan 2016). It is a melancholic image of the old gas works at Beckton that I visited in the 1980s before it was replaced by a bland retail park. It is a strange landscape (it was used as a setting for Stanley Kubrick’s ‘Full Metal Jacket’) redolent with the romantic shadow of our industrial past. These places bring to life a sense of redundant power that I find quite compelling.


The mysteries of ironing

The Adventures of Superfluous Man: The Mysteries of Ironing

This etching is part of an occasional series of images I have been working on which considers the plight of ‘superfluous man’. I realised that this is a deeply rooted psychological phenomenon, probably related to our instincts as a hunter. Modern society seem ill-equipped to accommodate his heroic imagination, his energy need to test himself by ordeal. The images are unashamedly drawn from comic characters I remember as a child, a peculiarly British concoction whose daring-do captured my imagination.


 

Alternative lifestyles

The Alternatives who live at Number 14

This image is derived from a painting in the National Gallery in London by Agnolo di Cosimo, normally referred to as Il Bronzino. The painting is called “Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time” and it combines a strong feeling of eroticism disguised as a moral or allegorical tale. I was attracted to the subtle transgressive quality of the original and used it to illustrate the memory of a disturbingly dysfunctional family who lived in the street where I grew up (there were many in the street). The nomenclature here has obvious certain class connotations, bourgeoise families are to as referred to as “alternative”.


 

Retail Apocalypse Episode 1
Etching and Aquatint

I made this image as a spoof portrayal of what would happen if the ‘Sons of Adam’ took up permanent residence in Narnia. An apocalyptic endgame for CS Lewis!


 

The Tormentors
Etching and Aquatint

On a holiday to Florence I visited San Marco, a church, convent and Dominican friary. The complex was home to Girolamo Savonarola and Fra Angelico. I was inspired by Fra Angelico’s murals in each of the friar’s cells, especially the depiction of Christ’s tormentors, who are depicted as disembodied hands. My version is attempts to depict the nature of disembodied critics (media perhaps) as psychological torment.


 

High Street Graces
Etching and Aquatint

The High Street Graces dance around their handbags outside the George pub in Wanstead High Street, a regular scene.


 

Hermes explaining the Meaning of Life as a Blue Grass Melody
Etching and Aquatint

This image has a complicated story, it is in part a reference to the excesses of a culture of consumption, but it also brings in the character of Hermes, the messenger also regarded as the trickster or joker. Perhaps someone like an artist, one who bares witness. This is the closest I have come to making a self portrait as the figure playing the banjo is based on me. There is a post note in this image as the messenger is Rastafarian and plays the instrument that many would regard as the lyre of the white suprematist!


 

We all Fall with Icarus
Digital print

This image is a digital print, created entirely on the screen and as gone through countless stages before I settled on this image. It is, I suppose a reflection of the credit crunch of 2008 and the fact that everyone became victims of the collective hubris of the financial world.


 

Things Could Have been so Different
Digital Print

This is another digital print and is meant as a witty depiction of the vagaries of natural selection, but in technicolour!


 

Prometheus

It was always likely to end in tears
Etching and Aquatint

This image was made after I had read Richard Kearney’s book “The Wake of Imagination, Towards a Postmodern Culture”. In it he describes the depth of some of our cultural taboos and longings. The idea that human knowledge is somehow stolen fire or forbidden fruit has a long history and it forms the backdrop of many of our cultural anxieties. This character is a transgressive, tattooed man being attacked by an Eagle sent by the Titans. He also inhabits a landscape reminiscent of William Blake’s depiction of Isaac Newton, one of the founders of the Enlightenment.


 

The Beauty of Flying Debris
Digital Print

This was the first successful venture into digital printmaking and is a labyrinthine image which tries to bring together a feeling of a floating mass of debris and the sense of colourful abstraction. I think the title refers in part to an idea that if the world ended tomorrow then hopefully we might take comfort in being killed by a bespoke object!

Turning Point

Turning Point

I am interested in the point at which we lose control of circumstances. I very often use the print process to disrupt my own abilities to control the image, to utilise the resistance of the materials to add something other or unexpected. This print illustrates in some way the frantic making-do that occurs when situations run away from us. It is probably a precursor to the superfluous man series


 

Pillar of Salt

Saluting the Sunset

This is another of superfluous man giving a heroic gesture, Canute-Like to the forces of nature.


 

Grotto Wanstead Park

 

An etching of the Grotto in Wanstead Park.

 


 

 

This page shows some of the books that I have made. I like the idea of describing a narrative in a series of images and I have enjoyed the physical activity of making the book.

Leytonstone Capers

Leytonstone Capers

Opening page of the book

Opening page of the book

Leytonstone Capers detail

Leytonstone Capers detail

The book; “Leytonstone Capers” is a response to a scary episode that occurred one evening on my way home form the Royal Academy Schools Opening in 2012. I was travelling home with a friend and left the tube at Leytonstone to get some food from the local chip shop. It seems we were stalked as we left the chip shop as a masked assailant on a bike stopped us and produced a hand gun in the street. My friend reacted immediately, throwing his battered sausage and chips in the face of the man and we made a run for it. The assailant chased us and didn’t leave until I banged loudly on the door knocker of one of the houses in the street. I will forever remember the pickled onion bouncing of the masked man’s head!


A tribute to Velasquez painting: "The Boar Hunt"

A tribute to Velasquez painting: “The Boar Hunt”

This book was made in response to looking at Velasquez’s large painting of a Boar Hunt featuring the King of Spain. It is a subtle reversal of hierarchies as King Charles is reduced to a minor character whilst the great Spanish public are depicted in the foreground, going through their cultural machinations; drinking, playing cards, exercising their dogs and horses.  One character has scaled a tree to peer into the Queens carriage.

Filed under Printmaking

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June 25, 2012

Sculptural work

 

Greenman in Yellow Square UEL, Docklands Campus

Greenman in Yellow Square UEL, Docklands Campus

This figure was originally made for a music event in Wanstead Park. The first manifestation was little more than the head mounted onto a pole which was garlanded with a sheet and flowers to depict a pagan deity. After this event I decided that I wanted to build a more substantial figure and so began long process of gathering driftwood from the around the shores of the UK. The figure came to this final shape after a period of five years, mostly because of the problems of finding suitable sized and shaped wood. Since its completion I have harboured a desire to make another figure of similar height, perhaps an Earth mother to accompany the Green man (although I feel that he has an ambiguous sexuality).

Greenman-from-the-west

Greenman-from-the-west

Greenman Head

Greenman Head

Greenman on site

Greenman in the Yellow Square

Greenman showing details

Greenman showing details


Greenman sited on Beetle Bump

Greenman sited on Beetle Bump

This is the Greenman erected on the Beetle Bump site at Docklands Campus. This is a piece of land that was discovered to be the habitat of a rare beetle and colleagues in the Biosciences department asked if it could be sited on the Bump to highlight the presence of this SSI (site of special scientific interest). I put him up on a concrete plinth in December 2013. Several days later a storm with 80 mph winds broke both of his ankles.

Probably not a aerodynamic enough for him spot then!

Greenman on the Beetle Bump at Docklands

Greenman on the Beetle Bump at Docklands


This page shows some of the sculptural work I have made over the past few years. I began making these things in cardboard as at the request of some local organisations who wanted props for social, charitable and theatrical events. After a while I found myself making more and more quirky objects out of corrugated cardboard, torn and stuck together with a glue gun. gradually this activity took on a life of its own with ever more ambitious objects. These objects form a part of a large work called ‘Vanitas’, an archaic term around the idea of memento-mori.


Skull part of Vanitas installation

Skull

We seem to be going around in circles.

We seem to be going around in circles.

Installation image

Installation image

Vanitas installation

Vanitas installation, Memento mori

These objects form a part of a large work called ‘Vanitas’, an archaic term around the idea of memento-moro. This device is often used within historical still-life paintings. It proposes the idea that no matter how materially wealthy one becomes in life, all is evened out in death. The objects themselves often incorporate textual references; the globe, for example is circled with the words; ‘we seem to be going around in circles’.

This maybe a symptom of my own feelings of the mysteries of text (I discovered that I was dyslexic some 15 or so years ago).

The installation is framed and mounted on a platform of grey slate. These slates are actually shelves that housed the public records in Somerset House. I was able to recover some of these before most were skipped unfortunately.

The print on the back wall is redolent of the same concerns as the sculpture, skeletal forms in high colour.

I am reminded of a surgeon friend who remarked, “We are all the same on the inside.”


This piece is one of my first ventures into object making. After making some real books, the idea of a contained sequence, especially of images, fascinated me. But I was also I became intrigued by their material qualities. The book has often been used in art historical terms to depict learning or academic prowess and I began to feel that this symbol or signifier could point more humorously to the ambiguity of education as a marketable commodity.

Quoting Tony Blair’s famous,”Education, Education, Education.” remark seemed to perfectly sum up this dichotomy.

Book with random letters

Education, Education, Education

Red Book

Look on these Works ye Mighty and Despair!

The red book piece contains a fragment of text  from Percy Bysshe Shelly’s sonnet, “Ozymandias”. It is a reflection on the nature of hubris and power.


This shell represented a real challenge, it is about a metre long and made of cardboard.  Making something, seemingly organic in such an unforgiving material represented quite a trial. I think there is a meditative aspect of struggling with materials that won’t readily bend to ones will that ignites my creative energy. Bloodymindedness is probably a strong motivator of creative problem solving.  I recently read an article that talked of the need for humans to experience penitence to bring a sense of worth to life.

Shell

Is there anyone out there?

The title of this piece is a humorously analogy to our place in the scheme of things!

 

 

Filed under Exhibitions, Sculpture

Permalink Print

May 11, 2010

Group Exhibition AVA Gallery UEL

Group Exhibition at AVA Gallery with students on the Professional Doctorate  Fine Art programme. Feb 2010

Installation shot of AVA show

Work in AVA gallery

Book Object with text

Education,Education,Education

Book sculpture, mixed media

The Sealing of knowledge

Lexicon

Lexicon

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March 16, 2009

The Thinking Hand

A Group exhibition at the APT Gallery, Depford, London

There are fourteen artists in this exhibition whose work ranges from drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, digital print to installation.They represent a diverse cultural mix reflecting the international community that makes up UEL.

The show highlights a wealth of cultural and international perspectives, a well-travelled maturity and a broad range of considered and reflective working methodologies.  The artists are:

Gisel Azevedo, Martin Barrett, Matthew Chambers, Anna Daniels, Grenville Davey, Garry Doherty, Paul Manners, Kon Markogiannis, Peter Nevin, Patrick Oronsaye, Vassilis Pafilis, Hedley Roberts, Hideyuki Sawayanagi,Timothy Weston

Read more on The Thinking Hand »

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