'One Thing into Another' Winchester Cathedral
What this work is about
This work is about that moment of impact that gives you the unexpected – so that, when two particles collide, you don’t know where the fragments are going to land nor what’s going to happen.
Multiple collisions come out of the scale of the painting; when viewing, it is impossible to take it all in at once. Every time you look at it, your eyes see different elements, which collide in new ways. As a painter, I want the audience to find their own combinations and collisions, to create their own relevance.
Expanding the theme
The theme of the painting is ‘Collision’. This impact is about change and transformation - when particles crash together they create energy and send shock waves beyond the expected. On the canvas, old bonds are broken to form new ones. Collision turns one thing into another, reminiscent of Alchemy and of Jesus turning water into wine. Looking at some of the images individually, you can see the most shocking collision of our lifetimes – the twin towers - in several of the little paintings. Ripple-effects, beyond what we could expect - the images are expressive and the application of the materials on the canvas are colliding and exploding. Following in the footprints of Expressionist painters.
This painting was created specifically to hang along the outside of the Gardiner Chantry Chapel in Winchester Cathedral. Inspired by this spiritual location I wanted to create a work that was both colourful and mysterious, and close to the church's historic connection with art. The idea was for the painting to echo the stained glass windows that illuminate the Cathedral and I have done this by creating 288 fragmentations - or small paintings each with their own story - within a very large (5’ 6” x 7’) painting - and surrounding them with a rich crimson that suggests the deep red colour of religious robes, often seen in religious paintings such as Velázquez's magnificent painting of Pope Innocent X. Colour is something I instinctively use in my work. It has an instant effect of conveying feeling – loosely to quote Matisse, "feeling needs colour to be complete and colour needs feeling to have inner meaning".
Not knowing where colliding particles will land, not controlling them and not worrying about the rules is part of my creative process. This use of materials is how I work; it tied in perfectly with the theme of collision. I work with mixed media, usually oil paints, spray-paint and ink. This painting is painted on linen with oil and spray-paint. The process of using mixed media is very exciting - there is the wonderful thing of how the oil paint and spray-paint interact, it’s not entirely predictable and is a process of discovery, where I may not know what I’m doing but find out by doing it - and being brave.