As a “townie” boy, brought up in and around Tottenham in North London, I was fascinated by the man-made world, watching tower blocks slowly rise up around my home; entranced by the late-night sight of spot-lit mannequins in the windows of silent shops; drawn into the tiny, swirling and colourful universe that I imagined inside the marbles that we played with in the school playground.
Although my work doesn’t at first sight seem to reflect it, this attraction to man-made forms is the seed from which my abstract images grow. Something as simple as a fence, a phone mast or a doorway can become transformed as I draw it again and again, re-imagining it, and distorting it until it becomes a final painting that no longer looks like anything recognisable. However, I always aim for the final painting to capture the feeling of weathered presence that I felt when I first saw the scene or object.
The biggest influence on my paintings is the early work of the New York Abstract Expressionists who in the 1940s were attempting to find forms for their responses and reactions to the world around them, without resorting to just painting copies of what they saw.
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