26 June 2015
Finally I’m starting my blog / retrospective / epitaph? No can’t say epitaph because I’m not dead and intend doing a lot more work before I reach that state.
A few drawings have survived in a rather tatty state, and here I spot the beginnings of my love of paper in that the tonal qualities of the drawings were achieved by progressive layering of tracing paper. Even the drawings were constructed in a sculptural fashion, so it's bizarre that after leaving college I didn’t do another sculpture for 43 years.
A year later I was awarded the Italian State Scholarship (9 months in Venice) which was wasted extensively but had a great and memorable time. However something must have penetrated my subconscious other than wine because on my return found a focus, and I started working in a sustained manner on drawings and paintings, dark moody impossible landscapes, multiple sequential works which never quite became animations.
During this time, for 3 days a week, I was working for the Borough of Tower Hamlets, London as craft teacher in a day care centre (technically the title was Art Therapist, but let’s be honest here…….). The other 4 days were spent working on paintings and drawings in a bedsit in Kentish Town, the work getting bigger and the space getting smaller. I was also painstakingly painting blends and knew there had to be an easier and better way of doing it. I thought maybe silkscreen printing could be a possibility, and enrolled at the Camden Institute, NW5 (it’s now a French lycée) to learn the subject, was lucky to have a fantastic teacher, Ingrid Greenfield, who gave me the knowledge and free rein to become obsessed with and consumed by the process. Within 6 months I had taken all my holidays from my job and finally resigned in order to devote as much time as I could to screen printing.
The work on the right is my second silkscreen print (1974). I haven’t a record of the first which was simply a blended sphere on a blended background, which proved my instinct to be correct, screenprint was much better way of expressing my ideas.