Biographic Note and Painter’s Statement
Painting since 1946 at the insistence of my artist mother and photographer father. I chose theatre school in favour of art school. Techniques picked up ad hoc from professional friends. This continues.
Drama school then ten years spent as an actor in professional theatre from 1960.
I first painted portraits around 1970 and since have painted and had commissions for many portraits. These are generally oil on canvas. With the exception of those connected to The Black Portraits none have been exhibited.
Solo Exhibition of some fifty paintings entitled ‘First Lines’ at Diorama Gallery under the auspices of Justin Mortimer, London, England in 2002. Other shows in Bristol and the South West.
These paintings were split into two categories – ‘In Play’ and ‘In Quest’.
Some Income derives from my 'In Play' paintings of dancers, musicians, sportspeople etc. Influences here include Laban movement, Edward Gordon Craig mask and theatre and Commedia dell Arte. The ‘In Quest’ paintings I now call FEELING ALOUD.
Influences on these experimental paintings include Les Eyzies cave art in France that I first visited in 1975 and Haida and Kwakiutl cultures of North West Coast America that I saw in 1991.I Shared with the latter the use of a stylised formal mode now pretty much missing in western art.
Object of this continuing experiment: to find expression of universal states of being e.g. Waiting, Moving, Child Without Family, Letting Go, without recourse to identity, race, creed, colour, ethnicity, culture, historic precedent or sentimentality.
Figures only to show species, gender, activity and face/body language.
THE BLACK PORTRAITS
The human rights project The Black Portraits is not to do with ethnicity. Heads are portrayed entirely in black impasto; this evolved through wishing to find a high impact and relevant way of depicting those imprisoned or dead.
The first exhibition of The Black Portraits was at The MEM, Wallsend, Newcastle in October 2012. Supported by North Tyneside Council and The Customs House, South Shields.This exhibition included fifteen large (5’ x 3’6’’) oil paintings and one actual portrait. Since then further portraits have been painted these were most recently exhibited at the Discovery Museum, Newcastle from 16th January to 17th April 2016.
The Black Portraits are for public exhibition and not for sale.
WE ARE BUT PLAYERS
A project started in April 2013 these are impasto black oils showing vignettes of people now dead that I have interacted with. The portraits are painted on black screens. There are to be around a dozen pieces to include the following: Samuel Beckett, Eamonn Keane, Winston Churchill, Louis MacNeice, Eric Morcambe, Tito Gobbi, Brendan Behan, Dominic Behan, Joan Sutherland, Francis Bacon, John Osborne, Luciano Pavarotti, George Solti, Max Wall, Sean O’Casey and Count Basie.
We Are But Players will be for sale.