EXHIBITION – THE NEW STEINE HOTEL
10-11 New Steine, Kemptown, Brighton BN2 1PB
RING BELL FOR ADMISSIO
A collection of paintings created during the Coronavirus lockdown
These paintings are the beginnings of a body of work created during the Coronavirus pandemic and specifically during the lockdown in the UK.
At the beginning of 2020 I had gone to live in Pietrasanta in Northern Italy to sculpt in marble. I had no alternative but to return to the UK in March 2020, when the seriousness of the pandemic became clear. I had a mad dash across Europe with my dog Arkle spending three days in my car.
Creatively I was in the wilderness, not only because of the stresses affecting all of us, but more particularly because I had made the decision to park painting for a few years to go back to sculpting. There is not the room in my head to focus on both at the same time.
I was concerned that my lockdown paintings would be dark and depressing, confused and chaotic, and indeed they were. It took many weeks to produce anything which did not deserve to be destroyed until these paintings emerged from the creative darkness in which I found myself.
Rather than being inspired by nature, I think it more accurate to say that these paintings reflect my appreciation of the nature that surrounds me, and in spite of the situation we have found ourselves in. Whilst I have always regularly walked my dog in the countryside, never before was it through the prism of lockdown. Those walks became more precious than ever before.
During a time when humanity is floundering to find a way through the complex repercussions of a pandemic that may be the result of humanity’s persistent and excessive intrusion into nature. On my daily walks it is apparent that many species of plants and insects are thriving as a result of the reduction in transport and pollution.
Immediately before leaving for Italy I spent a month in South Australia where fire had ravaged the Adelaide Hills and Kangaroo Island. The devastation of the landscape threatened nature more than man. Already the green shoots are emerging. For me these paintings represent hope and optimism for all the future of all of us
*the paintings all bear the names of songs I have listened to in my studio during lockdown.