continuation from the abstract figure works of
Whilst my work has always had
an element of placing a figure in the landscape a
change emerged particularly in 2002 which saw a
closer personalisation. I have always kept "me"
out of these works, they have always been
representations of something "other", a
presence which has often been non-figurative.
Having said that there is a large personal
element in these paintings, I've long felt that
everything an artist produces is a kind of self-portrait.
Two phrases came to
prominence to indicate how the work was changing:
I Am Hid:
a phrase William Blake used to describe his own
utter separation from the fashionable art world (Reynolds
and co.) of his time. I love the poetry in these
3 short words, and they say a lot about my
temperament and the direction my work is heading.
the word "Incursion" intrigues me. An
early title for "The Ingleborough Series"
was "13 Gentle Incursions". That word
usually suggests a hostile entering into a
foreign territory. As a walker and searcher I aim
to leave no traces, yet all the time the
landscape is intensely working itself on me,
pushing itself on me. If anything it
is the hostile force and I am nothing to it. I
like that, I like entering a place and allowing
it to influence me to the point where I seem to
cease to exist, and the landscape is all.
But another angle on this
phrase is the notion of fading into death - can
we go into death in any way other than a passive
one? The notion of "My Incursion"
suggests a forceful, purposeful route into death,
to the next stage. This is expressed through the
figure in an intimate space, as this work has
been for some time, but as ever the accent is in
no way on morbidity but on hope for renewal.
"Don't Find Me" is
a possible third title for these works; a wish to
merge into the earth, remaining undisturbed
I'm reading about and looking
at pictures of mummies at the moment,
particularly South American ones, the care which
these peoples treated their dead and their
conviction of a life beyond impresses me greatly.
Did they fear death or was it accepted as a