Curating Memory – Archived Works


‘Bucket’ 2016 watercolour and body colour 9x9cm (Did this win a prize at Gundy, where I’m sure it sold. Memory, don’t abandon me, you fickle thing)

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, I don’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.

Fifty of my favourite works.

Selected from all the series from the last twenty or so years, this collection is not necessarily a “Best Of”, but they are the paintings that have done well, had that special something, or are just ones I enjoyed doing. The list could easily have had twice as many, or more. 

Click on any painting to view slideshow.