Vessel Series

“The paintings, ‘Two Egos’, produced in late 1984 was a turning point and new development from those paintings strongly influenced by the ‘Victim’ series.  The ‘Victim’ period for me was essential and formative in that I searched my own subconscious and spirit for those influences indirect or direct, inherent or imposed, that have deeply formed my nature, personality, character, understanding and beliefs, in an attempt to have insight into those same elements in our society.

The crucifix ‘Victim, no Resurrection’ was the major work of this period and still today expresses for me all that I felt is crying out in the spirit of Ecco Homo. The statement in the title ‘no resurrection’ isn’t anti-Christian but an expression and warning about the degenerative lack of spiritual belief and confidence that I felt, and still do believe, has permeated our society and produces hopelessness in those who are deprived and discarded, and destructive spiritual emptiness in those who are en-captured by ‘materialism’. This painting was followed by the ‘Room Series’, but in retrospect the work was becoming too introspective and paintings such as ‘Bird of Paradise’ were attempts to fly free and release the spirit in confidence. However, it took a trip to New York to break my thought pattern and produce ‘Two Egos’ which symbolises human strength and confidence, realising its weaknesses but not dominated by it.

‘Two Egos’ was also an attempt to scale down to a smaller size without losing strength, content and expression. I had felt, and still do, that I had at times used large scale too automatically, that though size was a flexible tool, content, value and success of the work were not relative to the size of the painting. It was also apparent to me, that like many artists today, we are influenced to produce work for galleries, and forget people.

During 1985 the scaling down process continued as I experimented with my craft and creativity in work one tenth the size of paintings 6 months earlier. What is now, in retrospect, obvious is that many of the works that followed ‘Two Egos’ were on the rebound from the introspection of the previous period and expressed observations and feelings about our society that are nearer the surface of our nature, and can be seen through deeds, actions and situations. This period produced many hundreds of small illustrations that led to the publication of ‘Her Revealing Dress’ and paintings such as ‘Man Tries Daring Feat’.   However, the confidence, directness and simplicity of ‘Two Egos’ continued and I began in 1986 to experiment and take further those parameters that I felt made ‘Two Egos’ a successful new development: no black; increased yellow; dominant cropped torsos; less conventions i.e. horizontal/vertical lines; reconsideration of personal symbols i.e. vase, window, table, bird etc.; less air brush, small scale, etc.   This turning point created by ‘Two Egos’ is still with me in 1987, but diminished in working importance by more recent works such as ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ , ‘Cathedrals’, ‘Women Can’t be Angels’.”

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