Looking forward...

Ah! My Masters has come to its end, just the final show to come - w/c 18th September..

Reflecting on the MA it is interesting that the last two paintings show the protagonist looking into the painting, away from the viewer, perhaps seeing something of what they see. In marked contrast to paintings inspired by childhood memories, such as Welcome and Visitor, where the gaze of the central characters is unflinchingly back at the audience.I wonder if this is a sub-conscious reflection of the artist - ME! -  now looking forward, having exorcised some baggage from my past.

Cosmos and Self-portrait, represent a final step on the journey away from predetermination. Each began as a ground with no pre-conceived end composition. Cosmos evolved out of a large pre-marked unprimed canvas ground. This had been created through a process of chance; by leaving the un-stretched canvas on the studio floor it gathered marks through a process of accretion. During the painting of other works, it gained paint splatters and splashes as residual paint was thrown over the canvas. 

The resultant ground was then stretched and then ... introspection. The vibrancy of the ground led me toward the idea of an adolescent boy, perhaps representing me, looking forward into his future with hope and expectation. This was going to be contrasted with the “reality” of working life, a more dystopian view than the boy was dreaming of. I took a series of photographs of a friend's son peering round a door into a lightened room. The office is roughly modelled on one in Amsterdam that I visited during my business career – all white, glass and chrome – and characterless. I did have another image that I was going to work into the composition –an office full of cubicled workers – are these pens, little empires or cells? But as the composition developed the image lead me in a different direction. The juxtaposition of the boy peering round the door, the architectural elements and the dynamic paint splatters whilst undoubtedly ambiguous created a positive feeling. Maybe because my mind was looking forward optimistically rather than back.

 

  Cosmos , 210 x 210 cm Oil and acrylic on canvas

Cosmos, 210 x 210 cm Oil and acrylic on canvas