Iapetus: Transition Zone, 90x70cm, monotype, charcoal, spit on glass plate.
Showing the frozen landscape of Iapetus, a moon in the Saturnian system which has a two-tone coloration, like a spherical ying-yang. Scientists form composite images of the surface by combining shots taken by the Cassini probe as it flies past. This is not dissimilar to the way in which our minds are constantly combining discrete images into a unified whole through the process of looking. I create my image through a singular act, forming one continuous surface that retains the presentation and illusion of a composite, yet everything is reversed so that an act of observation, analysis and discovery becomes an act of intuitive creation.
The Cooling Towers - oil, charcoal, chalk on board, 120 x 91cm.
This painting combines text and image in a cinematic manner inspired primarily by the work of Peter Greenaway and Andrei Tarkovsky. The image derives from memories of travelling North through England by train, but also emerges from an open exploration of materials and an interest in art-historical landscape archetypes. The text was written at the time of painting, as a single creative event, and responds to the metaphorical possibilities of the image.
The text reads:
“when we awoke I tasted bitterness, a brackish mist clung softly to the hillsides and over the bay. The sky glowered, laid low. I rose stiffly in damp clothes, boot rubber creaking on pebbles and plastic detritus underfoot. We stood in silence for a long time and as we watched stately vapour columns grow from the cooling towers across the water I noticed the acceleration. Time, or our perception of it, had become unhinged; my companion had frozen in obvious bewilderment and seemed subject to the same illusion. Waves sped toward us, thrashing against the rocks at a violent tempo, throwing a flecked veil of sea spume along the shorefront. Soon waves became a blur and the surface throbbed a rapid tidal rhythm. The sun raced across the sky, filmed by a torrent of clouds that churned and stretched and finally became unified as Time’s compression continued apace. The passage of days came to be an unbearable flashing, then as the frequency increased the strobing smoothed to a soft middle light, neither dawn nor twilight, more a sourceless moonlight that permeated everything, tranquil. “
Eight equal piers - charcoal and graphite , 110x126cm
This drawing is comprised of six sheets and was done over about 8 visits to St Paul’s cathedral. I started it sitting in some pews which disappeared after a couple of weeks, so after that I would fold it out onto the floor under the dome and draw on the marble.
The structure I’ve drawn in the dome space is an installation, whose purpose is to show the extreme distortion which occurs when a perspectival drawing approach is applied to a very wide (in this case, tall) field of vision.