This WordPress.com site is for my painting.
A drab, familiar scene that may at first appear to be little more than mud and debris. It is cold, and early morning. Closer inspection reveals a building site in its very early stages, bordering on chaotic, with the foundations of large, detached houses emerging from the greyness.
The inclusion of the bird in flight, probably a crow, is inspired by a painting called ‘Hunters in the Snow’ by Pieter Breugel. His viewpoint is high, and the bird serves to show us the vastness of the space in his landscape. It almost makes us feel dizzy. I hope that the bird in my painting helps to create and define the space, as well as animate it in a way that a figure would not.
“This land was made a common treasury for everyone to share” is a line from the ‘Diggers’ Song’, a 17th Century ballad by Gerrard Winstanley. It partially informs a lot of my recent work in which building sites and terrain on the edges of conurbations play a prominent part, possibly standing for a contemporary human condition.
I’m no political activist by any means but the way in which great swathes of the countryside are levelled and built upon with such haste is one of the reasons I am driven to make paintings about it. It is, in part, documentation. It has a capacity for melancholy yet my all-time dream home may lie on this housing estate. People need somewhere to live.