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ARTWRX

I am an artist living and working in SW London, England. This website has four galleries.

Four Quartets: I started reading T S Eliot's Four Quartets in 1971. I don't think I really understood very much of them at all but I was intrigued by what I experienced as their inherent 'mystery'. Eliot's poetry has stayed with me all of my life and I have returned often to the Four Quartets finding that they have revealed more to me as I have aged and that I have come to cherish the companionship that I find in the journey that they describe. Critical to Eliot's Four Quartets are his sense of the philosophy of time and his personal quest for religious understanding. The Four Quartets are in fact philosophy in poetry. These four paintings are not "illustrations" of the Quartets but rather visualised responses to them triggered by overarching themes or by particular passages. In some cases the compositions of these paintings have emerged from my thinking over many years and so they create a link between a long term process of thought and emotion with philosophy and image making. There are some downloadable commentary notes on these paintings available via this link: Notes to Four Quartets

Triptych: These three paintings aim to provide a linked narrative response to three of the poems that were published in T.S. Eliot's Selected Poems: The Hollow Men, Journey of the Magi and A Song for Simeon. In the Hollow Men Eliot drew heavily upon Joseph Conrad's story, Heart of Darkness. This painting brings together responses to both Eliot's poetry and Conrad's story both of which envisage a world ravaged by the actions of 'hollow men': for Eliot, a world unmediated by morality or religious faith. The Journey of the Magi is a poem whose narrative Eliot constructed largely from a sermon preached to King James by Bishop Andrews in 1622. The poem suggests that the Magi witness a birth but in so doing witness (foresee) a death also. This painting exploits Eliot's interest in the the philosophy of time and juxtaposes a variety of temporal "passages" and places in order to ask some contemporary questions. What might the Magi journeying today witness in their travels? Are the crowds spectators or refugees? Does religious faith really ameliorate the human condition? ... A Song for Simeon is Eliot's poem based on the story of Simeon told in Luke 2: 25 -35. In this story Simeon sees the newly born Christ child and sees too his own passage to redemption. I have re-imagined the story of Simeon as a Freudian 'dream' in which Simeon's anticipation of the crucifixion is shown alongside his own anticipated passage to heaven in the company of Angels. The Angel motif in each of these paintings is taken from the churchyard in Petersham near Richmond Upon Thames.

Portraits: I think of Giovanni Batista Moroni (152/24 - 1579/80) as perhaps the greatest of portrait painters. The portrait of 'Robert' in this gallery is a deliberate visual pun on Moroni's painting of the Tailor. I have included also other study paintings and drawings of Moroni's portraits elsewhere on this website.

Landscape: In relation to image making I am interested in the 'process' of landscape more than I am in the 'views' which like many people I also enjoy. This interest is reflected in my painting of East Coker where the landscape in some way embodies the passage of time: the past situated in the present (as Eliot might have once said). I recently spent some time in the Scottish Highlands staying in what must be one of the most beautiful places in the entire UK: Glenelg, looking across to the Isle of Skye. I have uploaded some of the sketches (watercolour and iPad) that I did during this trip along with some of the paintings that have come from it. Glenelg: a wonderful, wonderful, inspirational place.

iPhone, iPad, Photoshop: Sometime in September 2016 I went to see Exodus a brilliant dance event choreographed by Dane Hurst at the Dulwich Picture Gallery. This was in part a celebration of the work of the painter Winifred Knights for whom the Dulwich was holding a (wonderful) major exhibition. I have been developing a series of images from the photos that I took on my iPhone using Adobe Sketch and Photoshop. I am planning soon to develop a painting series also. I am also starting to use photographs in combination with Adobe Sketch and Photoshop to develop images more generally. This is a gallery showing the development of some of my ideas and images using this mix of media.

Drawing: Drawing is the foundation of painting; at least as this applies to image making within the traditions of fine art. Here I have included some study drawings from the renaissance masters as well as drawing studies recommended by the master of French Classical Drawing studies, Charles Bargue. There are some life studies included here too.