Breaking the Mould
Toward the end of the last century, I was feeling an urgent need to take stock of my life and seek out a new and different path in regard to living a gentler and less interventionist lifestyle. Co-incidentally, and with almost perfect timing, a new opportunity presented itself, which took me away from my home into a large cosmopolitan city. At the time, I was unaware that I was entering a truly transformative period in my life, and one, which would propel me on such a dynamic, and life changing work experience. Below is a brief attempt to describe that journey.
In 1999, I was invited to take part in an experimental residency with HMG Paints, a specialist paint company in my home city of Manchester. Whilst there a radical transformation took place in my working practice.
Time spent in the colour laboratory was particularly fascinating; I learnt many things about paint manufacture and the science of coloured energy. The sheer beauty of the materials and the versatile way the paint pigmentation interacted, guided my experiments into new and exiting painterly applications. New doors were opening up, and images of great power were gifted to me in abundance. It did not take long for me to realize that my work had entered a seminal period, whereby there was no way back to expressing my own personal agenda.
Within my working practice, there are no expectations or efforts to control or impose myself on the work, simply a flowing participation of trust, faith and willing compliance with the creative process. Works grow freely, form and colour self regulates, creating a pure and unified field of pictorial beauty within an inevitable and natural compositional structure. Invariably the experience connects me to a vast and unifying reality within the natural scheme of things. Often the images resemble satelite photos of the planet, and occasionaly pictures have come through which have an almost prophetic connection to the natural climatic events which cause massive destruction in our world.
Two examples spring to mind. Months prior to the devastating Asian Tsunami which struck in 2004, pictures of huge wave formations, as seen from space had been created in my workshop. More recently images of raging forest fires have been produced months before the outbreak of the fires in Australia. Yes, it could be purely co-incidental. However, increasingly this development is taking place. A scientific friend of mine recently remarked that somewhere in the world the images that come through are actually taking place in the world!
The evidence before me leads me to believe that my own tiny universe has been transcended by a far greater and more dynamic one, and my work refers to this reality.
I have invented a radical new way to make paintings, which strange as it may sound has resulted in me making paintings I cannot make!
Supported by HMG Paints
September 30th 2010
In 2009 Satish Kumar director of Resurgence invited me to display my flagship painting “Climate Change” in the journals coverage of Copenhagen’s Climate Change Conference. The work attracted many positive comments and is presently showing in New York.
In addition Emma Cocker of Resurgence & Ecologist recently told me that they would very much like to cover the story in their news pages if the work was to be installed in the United Nations New York.