Following a successful student exhibition (Hot Metal in 2000) as part of my BA studies, it was clear to me that the spectacle of the foundry offered much scope for further work.
The preparatory work for that exhibition was carried out at Sheffield Forgemasters (where I joined the night shift using sketchbook and camera), and foundries in Lancashire and The West Midlands. As a direct result of my taking Hot Metal to the AGM of The Institute of British Foundrymen in Stratford upon Avon, I was commissioned by The Taylor Group in Larbert in Scotland.
In 2004, through the good offices of The Institute of British Foundrymen and Prague University, and with the help of an Arts Council grant, I spent three days at the Skoda foundry in Pilsen in the Czech Republic – the largest foundry in Europe. The result was my exhibition “Foundry” at The Queen’s Park Arts Centre in Aylesbury in 2005.
The first six paintings ( untitled 1-6) relate directly to the original BHS drawings and were made on a single sheet of heavy watercolour paper. In their progress and through to the subsequent paintings they verge upon the near abstract.
Hole In The Road
In the course of urban renewal in Aylesbury, a hole in the road suddenly appeared at the junction of Buckingham Street with Cambridge Street revealing an internal facade. This painting was made with earlier developmental methods of the BHS paintings in mind.
I enjoy reading poetry and find that some poems convey their message with great force. Three such poems led me to make the paintings in this gallery. “Toledo, July 1936” is a poem I have carried in my mind since boyhood.
This section contains a selection of other works, from my first reaction to the bombing of the Twin Towers in New York to Goal Posts – my latest completed painting.
The two “5 Seconds” paintings are from a series I made on the following morning after watching a “cops & robbers” film during which the villains escaped through a dilapidated warehouse.
The Medusa Pillar records a memory of a visit to Istanbul and The Cistern beneath the Roman Governor’s palace.
Baux, Provence. The entrance to a Son et Lumiere installation created in huge caves at Baux. Slides of Renaissance paintings on an overpowering scale were continually projected onto the walls.
I came across an image of a two Cubans playing dominoes which immediately reminded me of Cezanne’s “Card Players Series” (1890-92).