Different Boats

Night Shelter 30cm x 40cm

Shell 15cm x 15cm  Hiding (sea mouse) 30cm x 20cm Hiding (mussel) 10cm x 18cm Hiding (urchin) 20cm x 35cm

Offshore 90cm x 131cm
Urchin and Apron 70cm x 90cm
Study for Urchin and Apron 30cm x 40cm
Breaking ø40cm
High-water ø40cm
Adrift 35cm x 45cm
Waves that Break 90cm x 131cm
Drifting 30cm x 50cm
Wake Me Up When This Is All Over 35cm x 55cm
Riptide 35cm x 45cm
New Sea acrylic on birch panel 50cm x 35cm
Round Basket Conte on paper 80cm x 90cm
A Vessel for the Second Wave 90cm x 131cm
Raft, after Gnoli 80cm x 120cm
Unmade Morning 80cm x 120cm
Unmade Afternoon 100cm x 120cm
Hotel Room 80cm x 120cm
Mended Chair 60cm x 70cm
The Juniper Tree 60cm x 60cm
Blind Man’s Buff 30cm x 40cm
At the beginning of 2020 I was working on a series of paintings of infants dreaming. My studio table was still covered with mementos of a recent trip to Japan: origami storks, photographs, fabrics and, next to them, a box of white shells, sea mice and urchins which I’d collected over the years. Then came Lockdown.  

Not much changed for me, I was happy in companionable isolation and I felt like the hermit crab who was stretching into the back of the right shell at the right time.  The mainstream media was trying to foster a Blitz spirit of sorts by telling us that we were all in the same boat while on Twitter someone finding it tougher had countered ”same storm, different boat!’. This exhibition was born from that remark. 

The urchin vessels were initially set on a sea taken from a woodcut by Matzao Kayama that had been the background in the ’Baby Dreaming’ series just weeks previously. Later, and on a far larger scale, I used Mori Yuzon’s Hamonshū wave and ripple drawings as a starting point. 

For months I was totally focussed on painting, working long days uninterrupted by outside demands or appointments. The evenings were filled with reading, stitching sashiko panels and by deep dives into Instagram feeds, during one of which I found new-to-me paintings by Domenico Gnoli. And so, for lack of going out, my evenings and home life started to feed back into my work. The later paintings are after Gnoli’s “Bed”; my raft of sorts.