I always use figures in my paintings. I use them to challenge the preconceptions we have about people due to media stereotyping. The paintings are concerned with identity, class, race, gender and the environment. This narrative is an essential element in my work, without a narrative I lose interest. I am however also concerned with the language of paint and the abstract nature of the process.
I am not am not concerned with traditional portraiture as the people I paint are like actors on a stage depicting a type rather than an individual identity.The irony is that I know all the people I paint be it that they are friends, family or students that I teach and as a result it is inevitable that they do not stay anonymous. This is the element of the painting that transforms the subjects from anonymous stereotypes to people with an individual identity.
The figures are set against sparse backgrounds which are usually reminiscent of a decaying urban environment. There are also additional images introduced which juxtapose with the central characters to help to create the narrative.
Competitions, prizes and awards
2006 50 over 50 winner, University of Brighton Gallery, Brighton
1990 BP Portrait Award Prizewinner, National Portrait Gallery, London
1985 Artist as Printmaker Award, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, London
1982 Award, For Painting, South West Arts
1981 Award, For Painting, Southern Arts