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Wood For the Trees- Blue Shop Cottage 2021

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‘Wood for the Trees’

After painting music, musicians and instruments for so long, over the last few months I have found myself painting trees, forests, paths, houses and smokers all together in a mass of shapes. What started out as speakers for a rave in a forest with people smoking in front of them, slowly became speakers hidden behind trees and then eventually, just people wandering around an imagined forest smoking cigarettes. The plumes of smoke billowing up into the canopy and becoming indistinguishable from the trees. The different forms all erupting from the bottom of the canvas obscure each other and become one and the same.

Whilst making these works I started making sculptures with greater enthusiasm than I had ever had before, in part because suddenly the sculpture form in the paintings was a short hop from what I could make in the studio. In the past, sculpture has always interested me but has stayed on the periphery of my artworks. In the last few months they have been tied in with the paintings like never before, the sculptures informing the paintings and vice versa. The works of Claes Oldenberg and Phyllida Barlow as well as Gillian Ayres and the Fauvists all took on a strong roll in influencing these works, from the construction of Phyllida Barlow’s works to the colour and shapes of Ayres and the Fauvists.

The show takes place in a forest, as you walk through it other pedestrians smoke cigarettes and houses and paths emerge from above the canopy or peep from behind trees. Working from total imagination and memory the landscapes inhabit the mind more comfortably than the real landscape.