Quality Street, varied paints and varnish on canvas, 100 x 100 cm (2016), Woolwich, London
A sturdy surface coating a temporary painting that melted (it was titled #hottestdayoftheyear).
On 3rd September 2016, cycling to the studio I passed people basking in the sun drinking cold drinks as if it were July in the Costa del Sol, but it was Woolwich in September. What else to do but melt in the studio whilst trying to paint it?
Later on, when the painting had melted too (or I'd wrecked it), I turned it into one of those Big Purple Ones - the best Quality Street was jumbo size for a while - shiny purple wrapping dressed and protected the chocolate and central hazelnut . That wouldn't stand much of a chance in the current heat either. *
Grandma's hands was also made prior to this, a painting with flowers, which changed over time. That and #hottestdayoftheyear both sit with my projects rater than paintings - they fit somewhere between the studio based practice and installation work.
*At the time of writing nearly two years on it's hotter. The nearby common is literally on fire - over a hundred firemen.
Quality Street detail, varied paints and varnish on canvas, 100 a 100 cm (2016), Woolwich, London
Grandma's Hands),157x108 cm, flowers (2015), and #Hottestdayoftheyear (2016) 150x150 cm
PS. I read from a few sources that the revolution / civil war / massacres in Syria were prompted by climate change. Apparently droughts made life too hard for farmers, who came to the city and peaceful protests ensued. Further triggers and violence used on the protestors escalated things to the Revolution at the time of the Arab Spring. International support, that was expected by the Free Syrian Army (2012), was late coming; 'others' piled in with other agendas, millions of citizens became refugees and hundreds of thousands were killed. As the conflict and weather becomes more extreme so does my love of ice-cream.
In 2008 when Israel was bombing Gaza I was briefly in Bethlehem (Palestinian territory); there was so much tension and fear in the air due to this war - it was intense. Around a week later, whilst it was still going on I sat on a street bench in Tel Aviv with two journalists I'd met in Palestine, gazing at people (normal people - citizens) walking along eating ice-cream, seemingly without a care. Following this I went to Jordan and found some normality night climbing with a German and a Bedouin - the hardest route I'm ever likely to do - I wasn't a rock climber until then. After the bubble of Israel and witnessing the repression and deprivation on the Palestinian side of the division wall, open space with no walls as far as the eye could see seemed vital and was sheer bliss. I eat a lot more ice-cream these days - as the world gets smaller.