Muse

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Better Tomorrows

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Muse, 2017
Oil on stretched canvas (930 x 780mm)
Better Tomorrows, 2017
Oil on stretched canvas (900 x 700 mm)

Silva

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Tondo

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Silva, 2016
Oil on canvas (1000 x 1300mm)
Tondo, 2016
Oil on canvas (810mm diameter)

Dusk

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Dusk, 2016
Oil on canvas (1850 x 1030mm)

Forest

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Forest, 2016
Oil on canvas (1850 x 1030mm)

Urban Forest

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Urban Forest, 2016
Oil on canvas (1850 x 1030mm)

The paintings on canvas have been inspired by my garden in Kensington where I have lived with my family for 33 years and from which we have recently moved. It is a large property with towering trees that form a canopy overhead. It is very much like a forest with many layers of plant growth and decay and abundant bird and insect life, an ecosystem or "fabric" of interdependent parts. I have invested years of growing and nurturing in this garden and was unprepared for the sense of profound loss when we decided to sell it. The canvases were painted during the protracted six month selling process.

In these paintings, I allowed the many layers of paint to move organically, flowing, dripping, branching, eroding. Fractal patterns suggesting branches and roots emerge, so there is a synergy between paint and subject. Instead of simulating the appearance of a landscape with brushstrokes, the paint is allowed its own agency to some extent. Having said that, there are very deliberate choices involved in colour, viscosity of paint, placement and various painting interventions.

My intention was to evoke the feeling of a forest, rather than paint a picture of one. The large size of the canvases and the broad format mean that your eye moves across the canvas in sequences, almost as though you're on a walk. The light is suggestive of forest in the saturation of colour, shafts of light, dappled or filtered or that particular fading light just before sunset. In these paintings, the canvas is a conceptual space, exploring ideas about landscape on the one hand and about painting on the other hand, both equally important and held in tension.

Forests are an important and threatened aspect of the earth fabric. They are often referred to as the lungs of the earth because they absorb carbon dioxide and convert it to oxygen, this being essential for human survival. I have been concerned about global warming and the changing landscape for years, but these paintings unintentionally became deeply personal. For me, non-representational painting is a bit like the idea of forest; vast and unknown, seductive and scary, perhaps a psychological space where you are faced with so many possibilities but you have to find your own way. 

Colour Field

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Colour Fields 1, 2 & 3, 2016
Oil on canvas (1015 x 760mm)

Flow

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Flow, 2016
Oil on canvas (1013 x 1013mm)