Recent Paintings

 

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.

 

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’.

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’.

Christ arrested by the arm response team.
Tooled-up police arresting Christ.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I took this painting from Caravaggio’s “The Betrayal of Christ” but have replaced the Spanish soldiers with an armed response team. It is in part a homage to Caravaggio as I have always admired his work.

The Visitation
This image is about memory, poetry and disaster.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This image is called The Visitation and is about the way our memories play tricks on us. it’s also about catastrophe and nemesis. It is, I suppose a poetic longing for times gone by.

We Are Creatures of Belief

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This painting is called “We are Creatures of Belief” and is about human fallibility, how we need to follow someone or something.

Dawn at the ship breakers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is an oil painting I did towards the end of last year. The photographs for this series of paintings were taken in 1985 and I was always meaning to use them in a painting or an etching.

Disused cement mixer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The photos were taken at a ship breakers near Inverkeithing on the river Forth in Edinburgh.

Part of a water or oil tank.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Large machine parts in a disused steel works in Stoke on Trent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have been experimenting laying water and detergent onto primed board then dropping turps ladened oil paint on it. I thought that the subject matter suited the process.

 

This is a painting of a ships ducting stuck in the mud.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Misceleous ship workings sitting in the mud

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have been experimenting laying water and detergent onto primed board then dropping turps ladened oil paint on it. I thought that the subject matter suited the process. This painting has a slightly different history. I took the photos at a disused steel works in Stoke on Trent but the subject matter is identical in many respects.

Large machine parts in a disused steel works in Stoke on Trent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is one of the more recent paintings.

Engines from some tractors.