It was a checkered time, both frighteningly hard (setting of to Milan with a portfolio of prints to try and make some money having only enough lira for a single fare, and no idea how I would get back should I fail) and exhilarating (returning from that same trip with my pockets stuffed full of money and subsequently being invited to show in two exhibitions). I ended up living a stroboscopic life between the London bedsit and the flat in Verona, a lifestyle halted when offered a teaching post in screenprinting at the Camden Institute which I took and so settled in London.
Israel Observed 1981
The exhibition ‘Israel Observed’ opened first in Jerusalem at The Israel Museum December 1980, followed by The Mall Galleries in London and finally the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester in1981.
Paperworks Graffiti Gallery 1984
Japan Residency - 1986
This residency was organized by Art for Offices. The gallery was in Isetan Department Store in Shinjuku, Tokyo, and the occasion was British week. All over Tokyo stores were promoting all things British, and Isetan was presenting an exhibition of works from the Dulwich Collection along with a separate exhibition of Contemporary British Art. On the roof of the store they had a flock of sheep which were being herded by an English shepherdess with her Welsh sheepdog. Prince Philip came to visit, the store was closed while the entire staff bowed him in. My role was to demonstrate silkscreen printing and talk to the public about the exhibition and processes used in the contemporary show. I had an extraordinary time in Tokyo, whilst out of my comfort zone culturally, the staff of Isetan were very kind and forgiving of my etiquette slip ups, and very good friend, Kimiko, who I met whilst living in Verona, Italy, had subsequently returned to Tokyo and was my introduction to a more intimate view of Japan in that I was invited to stay in her family home for a few days after my residency had ended and before I began my travels of exploration of the country.
Scorched Lands and Flying Peonies - Anna Bornholt Gallery - 1987
Once again, as in Japan, I found the cultural differences exhilerating, the visual stimulous immense, so when asked to do artwork exploring red my thoughts turned immediately to the magentas and scarlets of Rajasthan, the vibrant activity of the market place where vegetables, spices, brilliant cloths and tiny glittering things were bought and sold. There was noise, shouting, bicycles, horns and cows - and it was all brilliantly coloured. The colour was energy, electricity, as witnessed on my first day, my first view, of India.
The Plight of the Bird 1989, The Evolution of the Bird 1996
My journey started in Avonmouth in 1988 whilst researching the relationship between wildlife and industry for a commission. There I saw four cormorants sitting on a rusted pier, drying their wings in the sun, a functional gesture suggesting a paradoxical attitude of submission and strength: triumph through vulnerability.
The Frozen Water constructed works were shown along side new work which focussed on the positive side of nature's ability to repair itself despite the ravages that humanity insists on inflicting on it.
I was invited to submit a work to an exhibition curated and promoted by Howies, the cyclist's clothes shop. The title of the exhibition was 'Bike Cut Up by' and all the invited artists had the name or initials of different cars……….so my bike was cut up by Ford. Another bike was cut up by Takashi Suzuki, etc. etc.. I thought it sounded like fun to do. The exhibition did have a serious message which was to bring to the publics attention the amount of cycle deaths and injuries caused by inconsiderate driving. Not much has changed there then.
I enjoyed doing the work and perhaps was naive in thinking that the pristine white paperwork I delivered would be lovingly cared for at least until after the exhibition. It was seriously damaged even by the time it was photographed for the rather nice catalogue, so 'ghost bikes' on a field of pure white was only seen by me and the person I handed it to. What was exhibited was bikes on crumpled dog eared paper. That wasn't the intention, though it may have been the flavour of the exhibition. Artwork Cut Up by………..?