Snorkel Ibiza, mixed media on canvas, 120x13cm, 2012
This painting started in a South London based cooperative living room. It was made in conjunction with two others that I threw away, though retrospectively would like to have kept. Those were also on canvas, and covered in the shiny purple dust from installations. This painting at one point had big pink and green splodges of paint slowly growing along the middle of the canvas. One night the main pink splodge had taken the shape of a sun. Somebody’s drunk midnight finger painting (not mine).
Before the painting was complete I rented a studio in V22 Bermondsey, London, where I developed the piece to include many layers, with scratches going right through the canvas. Standing back I realised how it reminded me of snorkelling in Ibiza. I’d recently been there to make installation art with ‘Bloop’ street art festival and whilst there went swimming. The fish were brightly coloured and bold! Ibizan fish.
In this second phase of the three year painting project (having moved out of the Deptford studio) I chose to move on from the first year format of 75x55cm rag paper. Perhaps it is worth mentioning that before embarking on the paper based paintings I had been making drawings for some years, using only black pen on paper and card. That exercise was to focus on the content of the work without material, process and colour competing for my attention. The adjacent primary artworks were then often large-scale, working within social contexts and necessitating project management skills.
Snorkel Ibiza detail, mixed media on canvas, 2012