Painting with Upper Red Loops



Acrylic and pasted paper on board




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Before beginning this painting I was thinking about images of the Formula 1 Grand Prix on TV. I wanted a sense of a circuit with all the various markings and zones in different colours. It’s an amazing visual event yet it results primarily from the way the track has to function, rather like markings on an airfield. I couldn’t achieve that idea directly, but it did emerge in a round about way. The piece went through a number of different stages, each of which presented something I could easily have taken as final, but I kept feeling that there was more mileage in it, if I simply let go of what had been achieved for the sake of something even more interesting. I had been looking at a wonderful Howard Hodgkin painting from the sixties where he had painted out three quarters of the painting with bright red, to reveal a form that one reads as a figure against a background. Here I painted out with yellow. I had also had in my mind the sense I have when playing traditional Irish jigs and reels on the fiddle, that they are like fast moving currents that flow unimpeded, rather like Celtic knot designs – you have to let go to that movement, yet something can remain still behind it. The contrast between the curvilinear movement and the geometry of the rectangle is striking. Quite what the bottom half is about I’m not sure but the juxtaposition of the two sections connects with something I find appealing about certain Moroccan rugs. My wife said she was drawn not to the loops but to the small ellipse which to her represented the attention, and seemed to suggest a sound.


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