The painting I have been working on for a long time is complete. The image here is a detail of the whole, which is a life-size figure in physical and emotional turmoil. This piece will form part of a forthcoming exhibition in Cardiff entitled ‘Seen Voices’.
The process that engendered this painting has been long, and plagued by a struggle between deliberacy and intuitive elation that is at the same time both constructive and destructive. My inate ‘need’ to draw fought in this piece (and continues to fight in everything I do) with the sometimes overwhelming passion that is inherent in the way I strive to use paint, ensuring that the relationship between me and my work is a negotiation perpetuated by a succession of fragile compromises. The process is always what I can only attempt to describe as a ‘complication’ of the craft (yes – I still use that word) and the subject matter. My relationship with this painting in particular was interrupted by my visit to Galveston. I was able there to immerse myself in a study of subjectivity in terms of illness and vulnerability, and on my return I felt initially, keenly, my own vulnerabilty in front of the work that rebuked me for leaving it so abruptly. In struggling to rebuild the relationship I have realised that things have changed. I have drawn strength ( and perhaps new insight) from the studies I made while I was living ‘outside’ my normal way of being. The painting was simply waiting. Now, in its complete state, the painting surrenders its individuality, its ability to rebuke, in giving itself up to the continuance, the perpetual interconnectedness that is, irrevocably, at the core of what I do.