A new project: “ENGINE” January 2011

In actual fact, this is not so much a new project as a tangential extension of a long established series.

January 2011  Selecting an engine

January 2011 Selecting an engine

6 January 2011. Unloading engine

6 January 2011. Unloading engine

7 January 2011 Initial examination and clean-up

7 January 2011 Initial examination and clean-up

I have always been fascinated by complex forms and, over many years, studies of intricate structures such as Reims Cathedral, rock faces of the mountains of North Wales or the Alps, TT racing motorcycle engines, constructions such as the pithead winding gear of the South Wales deep coal mines, Pegasus Bridge and the gun emplacements of Hitler’s “Atlantic Wall” have all been incorporated into this particular strand of my work.

This fascination is not concerned purely with the identity and sculptural qualities of the forms themselves but also their potential as vehicles for the exploration of “pictorial composition” and “visual dynamics” when translated into two dimensional images.

6.10pm 16 January 2011 Making preliminary study

6.10pm 16 January 2011 Making preliminary study

10.50am 12 March 2011 In studio

10.50am 12 March 2011 In studio

11.45am 12 March 2011   In studio

11.45am 12 March 2011 In studio

I am intrigued by the tensions which can be generated in an image by introducing a degree of conflict between the “picture plane” (the two dimensional picture surface) and the “picture space” (the illusion of three dimensional space beyond the picture surface)

The abstract qualities and interaction of these two pictorial elements are significant components in much of my work, and this project in particular.

10.15pm 28 February 2011. 'ENGINE - 13'  Size A1 Drawing

10.15pm 28 February 2011. ‘ENGINE – 13′ Size A1 Drawing

4.40pm, 3 February 2011.'ENGINE - 07' Size A3 Drawing

4.40pm, 3 February 2011.’ENGINE – 07′ Size A3 Drawing

Amongst the devices I am using to achieve these complex visual tensions is the integration of text and image by combining digital print with drawing/painting techniques.

Photocopied or printed text, which I sometimes introduce at random into my drawing techniques, immediately and unequivocally establishes the “picture plane” and a gradually constructed drawn or painted image which is superimposed without completely obliterating the text, subtlely “penetrates” into the space beyond.

3.20pm, 15 January 2011. 'ENGINE - 03' Size A4 Gouache & Digital Print

3.20pm, 15 January 2011. ‘ENGINE – 03′ Size A4 Gouache & Digital Print

4.35pm 27 February 2011 'ENGINE' - 12' Size A3  Gouache & Digital Print

4.35pm 27 February 2011 ‘ENGINE’ – 12′ Size A3 Gouache & Digital Print

10.25pm, 5 February 2011.'ENGINE - 08' Size A3 Mixed media

10.25pm, 5 February 2011.’ENGINE – 08′ Size A3 Mixed media

10.25pm, 5 February 2011.'ENGINE - 08' Size A3 Mixed media

10.25pm, 5 February 2011.’ENGINE – 08′ Size A3 Mixed media

8.15pm 11 March 2011 'ENGINE 15'  Size 48X72inches  Oil & digital print

8.15pm 11 March 2011 ‘ENGINE 15′ Size 48X72inches Oil & digital print

Michelangelo said
“To reveal the form which was hidden within the stone is all the hand and eye can do.”

Similarly, I sometimes feel that I am laboriously prizing out an image, bit by bit, which lay concealed behind the surface of the paper or canvas. Sometimes, indeed, the image has to be partially prized out from behind another, existing, photocopied image with which it then becomes integrated, as in some of the work I produced in the Somme and Auschwitz in the 1990s. The trick is to establish the second image without obliterating the first one.

The final results of this project, which will be a series of investigative studies of various sizes and approaches, will be incorporated in an exhibition which I have been planning for a long time entitled “Motorbikes, Engines and Cathedrals.”