Works

These galleries reflect various themes, which I often explore on paper, on canvas or on wood. These different materials add to the way that I wish the individual art works to be presented to you.

These are the sorts of areas the paintings express:

Historical

Many works have an historical inspiration from the cave paintings, illuminated manuscripts and the art of the 14/15th centuries. These mediaeval paintings tend to be on wood as that was the material used at the time, and which explains why so few early paintings have survived to today.

The question I ask when I look at art from history is ‘what were they thinking?’ In this respect, these paintings explore visual perception as real cognitive phenomena, with a bit of time travel.

Cognition

Many paintings are about how we think and are in my view directly in the historical tradition of such powerful forces as Artistic Relativity Theory (what some called Cubism) , Suprematism (Malevich), and Abstract Expressionism. These paintings seek to conspire with the viewer’s mind to create new ways of seeing ideas. Some insight can be gained by reading about neuroaesthetics, but that is not what they are about.

Techniques involve glazing (up to 50 layers in almost homeopathic concentrations) on heavy paper, canvas and wood panels.

Perspective

Horizontal paintings are perceived by our minds to be landscapes. I painted a series of horizontal landscapes, letter box paintings on paper, 6 Views of Dungeness, explore, to a degree, how little is needed to evoke the notion of a landscape; they depict 6 views of Dungeness, Kent, more precisely, the light at Dungeness.

The three In the City paintings also on paper explore the monumentalism of the built environment; it is anticipated that we’ll all live in cities, but at what cost to our quality of life. The Indus Valley, a connected megalopolis that can be seen from space, has a population approaching 1 billion people.

I often depict landscapes as narrow vertical images that challenge that perspective; by turning that aspect ratio on its side, so we see from the ground up to the stars.

Zen Abstraction

There are some artists in Asia that are moving toward abstract brush painting (sume-e) and away from the figurative and traditional approach with its focus on landscapes, plants such as bamboo, animals and birds.

Some historical works such as Hiroshige’s waves are early examples, while Gao Xingjian, who won the Nobel prize for his writings, has done some wonderful abstracts. There are many others.

I explore this on very fine Japanese paper and Japanese inks.