Tag Archives: Water

Shadows Beyond Illusion

22 Apr


This animation is prepared for an exhibition later in 2015. I’ve been allocated a small space in a gallery, an old bank – in fact the old vault – and will project this animation on the back wall with prints of my work on the side walls.

The video can be found on YouTube at:


Although there is some drawing in this, instead of sketching entire sequence as with a previous animation (Morphomitosis;   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOIVjuX6cBU ) short videos were fused in a similar way to those used in my digital artworks, juxtaposed with rotoscoped drawings, and a photo of graffiti taken from tags on a wall.

Before describing the work, I pay tribute in this film to the inspiration of two brilliant artists to whom I’m indebted; Yayoi Kusama and Zilvinas Kempinas.

The overall composition is a simplified version of the Sonata form in classical music: Introduction, Exposition (with two contrasting themes), Development, Capitulation (with resolution of the themes) and a Coda similar to the introduction.


It begins with water, ends with water, and includes fluoroscopic X-ray examination of a pair of lungs in motion, simply breathing.  A circle with a dot, an ancient symbol for the sun, or the metallic element gold, in scout tracking signs also represents the end of the trail – “I have gone home”. Life is a trail with a beginning, an end, and twists, turns, changes and bends along the way. Although movement in the work is generally localised and controlled, the sense of time changing is enhanced by an additional unexpected element, travelling through a forest; an external environment; trees, earth, rock flashing by.


Swaying natural eucalyptus branches echo diaphragmatic movement and contrast with Kasuma’s motionless, highly geometric dots. Kempina’s shimmering, ever-shifting stripes and lines, moving but going nowhere. Tension develops as lines and dots are juxtaposed. It resolves as the fleeting introduction of a shadowy human figure heralds a recession into sparkling water, breathing lungs, and an exit. The high-pitched sound backing of playing children’s voices changes to the gentle sound of a babbling brook.



I hope you will enjoy this animation, it is only the second time I’ve attempted an ambitious project like this, and although there are errors in execution, these have a certain naive charm and I’ve allowed them to remain.

Self Portrait 1; Self-portrait underwater with an X-ray

4 Jan

Self-portrait underwater with an X-ray


“Are we to paint what’s on the face, what’s inside the face, or what’s behind it?”   – Pablo Picasso

It seems to me that all artists should try a self-portrait at least once. Some – like Rembrandt and Francis Bacon, many, many times. There are certain advantages, you can, for example insult your subject without offending anyone, distort, be truthful, and lie about them without fear of recourse. Of course the model is always available and doesn’t complain about how long you are taking – always an advantage. On the other hand to look with an artist’s honest eye at yourself, explore your own soul, possibly find things you don’t like, even magnify them and flaunt them, can be confronting. Here you are, showing the world how you see yourself, opening gates to the scorn of the hoi polloi. But – you can still throw it away at the end if you don’t like it. Speaking of which, the advice I received from an artist I admire was to publish and be damned. People must realise that artists do a lot of work and not all of it is high quality, the audience must see the bad with the good. And I agree with that, provided the quality of the work still reaches a certain standard, which is hard to define.

What is my experience so far? I find a unique psychological understanding that occurs when I look into my own eyes. The process is one of self discovery and realisation. It is introspective, particularly since you try to show your subject in a way that no-one has ever seen them before. I have the impression that I’ve not done my best work here, but it is a stepping stone.

I invite people to comment on this with their experience, or even to tell me what they think of the image. Where should I go from here? 

Elements series No 3; Water

11 Oct

Elements No 3; Water

For the third in my series Life and Elements, I have taken a dead-still sea and added overlays of moving water to provide the contrast. The sunset was originally taken from a shot through trees and I intended to exclude the trees completely, however they provided such a good structural component I had to include them – the way they show in the picture is quite ambiguous – it could either be tree-stumps rising from the water’s edge, or a splash of water on a window pane. That’s for the viewer to decide. The Chest X-ray is reduced to wispy lines drifting over the image like a rising mist – the gridded texture within the lines is interesting; the image is greatly magnified and shows the X-ray grid – a technical part of the examination used to improve the image and not usually visible.

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