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Show 2024 ....

Updated: May 10

Thank you to all those that came to the evening view of my solo show in The Crypt and thank you to all those working at St Michaels on the Mount for hosting the show; it was a lovely way to spend an evening. (even if it took me far too long to organise).

Now that it's over I have no excuse to not get on and produce more work; see you in 2026?.

Unfortunately, due to the fragile nature of a few pieces and the difficulty of setting them up (projecting a series of paintings onto a printed hanging perspex screen, setting up the sounds to go with them and ensuring that the tallow pieces were illuminated) meant that these had to come down after the first week but I have been advised that the remainder worked well together.

The whole show was a reflection of my preoccupations over the last two years.

It was to be seen as a series of rooms that lead to other rooms, where one idea fertilises another and through a series of disparate yet interwoven narratives I hoped to offer an insight into ‘that, which binds us’; to provoke a critical reflection on the intersecting forces that shape our lives and to offer artistic expression as solace in the face of these forces.

There are 5 parts to the show:

•              That which binds us,.

•              Contemptibles: the rise of autocracy,

•              V for victory: an installation reflecting on the inevitable consequence of appeasement in the face of autocracy'

•              Dances: 12 illuminated paintings,

•              Black’s move; a short series of paintings musing on the politics of power.

‘That, which binds us’, stems from a poem written by Jane Hirschfeld on the nature of love and the scars that result (For what binds us) The paintings reflect on the nature of empathy within an envelope of love resulting from a period of introspection.

Meanwhile, the recent rise of populist autocracy casts a shadow over artistic expression, challenging the autonomy of creators through a lack of funding. Despite these constraints, artists persist and the nine images of modern autocrats shown use an old portraiture technique that mocks the subject; here, showing them as possible participants in a game show.

The illuminated paintings Dances # 1-12 are gentle gyrations inspired partly by the 2010 publication ‘a dictionary of colour combinations’ by Sanzo Wada, offering an alternative to western inspired colour theory and partly by ‘A dance to the music of time’ by Anthony Powell (A work in 12 parts set as 4 seasons centred on a long period of war.) Which brings me to the final piece ‘V for victory’, a piece two years and a life-time in the making:

Using a juxtaposition of images, colours, and sounds (using the radio free Europe call sign that I used to hear while visiting my grandparents in Berlin during the 60’s) V for Victory reflects on the inevitable consequence of appeasing autocrats while raging at the chaos of conflict, offering little hope but a glimpse of humanity amidst the resulting devastation.

So, what is it that binds us? There is no single answer; it changes constantly and varies depending on the viewer. One day it might be the small gesture of reassurance we make to each other in the face of oppression another day it might be an acknowledgement of the lack of empathy we have for others until an event directly affects us, but ultimately, we all share similar scars.

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