Each painting, in its life, moves through the arc of inspiration, perspiration, appreciation, until it end up on a wall somewhere. Or not. There’s at least one artwork from each series that I seriously consider not selling. Those particular ones I make sure go to really good homes, on the proviso that I can visit. In my spare bedroom, on top of the wardrobe, is a small collection of paintings that were never sold. Don’t tell anyone !
In reality, once the paintings leave here I seldom see them again. Sometimes I’m visiting friends and see one of my paintings in their collection. There’s a startling shock of familiarity. It’s like seeing an old friend. I want to stop and chat and find out how the years have been for them, and share mine.
Painting is a very personal thing. The time I spend on-site, and in the studio feeds a relationship to a particular place. But in a world where technological transience is de rigour – not for nothing do we have “Insta-gram” – whole bodies of work recorded on web-pages can disappear with the click of a mouse. I’m in charge of the mouse clicks in my house, but for all the need for editorial alertness, Idon’t want to forget the time spent on a project. This practice of mine is not about record and forget. It’s about remembering. Remembering place, places as well as the people I met and time I spent there.
This collection isn’t a crafted archive – it’s curated with a certain randomness. Like memory itself, it will negotiate the past as it sees fit. And like memory, permanence is only ever a tick-tock mouse-click away from delete.