The canvas is the laboratory/battlefield for exploring the phenomenon of an "event".

It is not there to represent or to show. It is intended to be a place where the "event" can be played out and its specific aspects can be re-enacted, recreated, manifested as an experience. The image, or a choice of what to "depict", comes from observing the surrounding world (the immediate environment, media information, large scale social events) and trying to isolate an occurrence of the specific phenomenon that I am interested in at the time.


The phenomenon I have being particularly interested in, in this set of works is that of thresholds, in particular the events that arise in the threshold area and how they manifest themselves. By "threshold area" I mean space (physical and otherwise) where different elements engage with each other. By the word "event" I mean the specific nature of the reciprocal engagement of those elements - it can be merger, infiltration, repulsion, violent transition of one into another, and the energy produced in such "events". The aim is to capture and reflect/restage, those events on the canvas.

Events I have been interested in are social events as well as specific events in physics and in cosmology. Some of the triggers (seeing at a specific moment something that develops into a working idea) that have spurred me on to developing these works have been: witnessing clashes between social groups in London, and events across the Middle East. In physics I have been fascinated by the property of atoms to maintain the distinction of all matter despite their similitude and by the energy events that define this distinction, in particular what happens on the thresholds within matter, from its smallest constituent parts to manifestations on the grand scale. In cosmology, by the emergence of matter in the universe and the elements that are thought to have played part in the process.

The gestural language of the painting, the application of the paint (a movement of the entire body rather than just the use of a brush) has in some instances tried to mimic such events: flowing brush strokes that simultaneously define and blur the edge of the form have been adopted from Velázquez while throws of colour in Pipes 3 & 4 are influenced by Francis Bacon. Here energy is represented by a gestural expulsion of "energy" onto a canvas.


Entropy is another aspect of the events that I have being interested in. As I see it, it works on, effects, defines, destroys the thresholds (Consumed 1 & 2, Entropy). On a social level a large city such as London was an example. Specifically the overwhelming diversities that erase definition/distinction and render everything homogeneous in its very multiplicity - evenly important and ultimately same.

In Entropy the main object of the picture is to study the tension between this homogeneity of the material flux of daily life and a structured form. The central form is comprised of elements of contemporary corporate architecture. The construction of the form is linear but fractured, which both suggests and questions the image of a structure in space, so that it gravitates towards an homogeneity of its own.

The painting is a reflection on possible tensions between clashing manifestations of differing processes of entropy. One is possibly tending towards the erasure of all distinction, the other towards a crystallised form. I am interested in what happens in the space where these tensions occur, in how these elements compete for the space of the canvas and the visual experience of tension this may create. It is possibly an attempt to visually manifest/effect, the concept of entropy as a social and physical phenomenon through painting.


Entropy, Consumed 1&2 visually reference Vanitas still-lives of the classical period, which contained collections of objects symbolic of the inevitability of death and the transience and vanity of earthly achievements and pleasures. In particular in the way in which Dutch artists represented a bouquet of flowers as a near homogeneous mixture of colours and elements among which were inserted small singular objects such as-insects or a fly representing decay, a butterfly, resurrection, a snail sensual sin, etc. The method of inserting a recognisable element that might trigger mental references has influenced my paintings. But although here nude bodies, skulls, oil pipes, the face of Gaddafi, protesters, are inserted in the multiplicity of matter, they are not there to tell a story. Newspaper cuttings were the main source of these details, as a way to connect with the world and also to create a distance, to record an event that has happened and make it history. They don't tell a story but manifest history as a rhizomatic series of events.

Using industrial landscapes as a source for the images (Pipes 2,3 & 4) is a theme I have started working on as a Fellow and artist in residence at Trinity College Cambridge (2009-2011). I have been looking at the disintegration of industry in Western society, the beauty of industrial landscapes and the way the industrial age has formed our environment, society, its tastes and choices and its aesthetics, as is reflected for instance by the architecture of the Pompidou Centre, the Lloyds building in the City etc., and in countless representation in film and photography, where Industry and Vanitas are closely interlaced. In Pipes 2, 3 & 4 I used photographs and sketches made during my visit to the Zaporizhia Steel factory in Ukraine and the BP Saltend Plant in Britain.

The presence of the Body in Entropy and Consumed 2, follows a complex history: image of perfection for the Greeks, symbol or spiritual vessel for the Byzantines, flesh for Rembrandt or Rubens, and with Bacon and after the second World War flesh as living meat -limbs contorted and torn but living etc. The body at present is an object of possession- a tool that can be upgraded enhanced, a commodity, a consumer item. Therefore in the painting it is mixed and mingled up with the rest of material possessions, becoming part of the homogeneous matter dump that is overwhelming our society. Here too painting attempts to manifest the tension at the threshold.

In Consumed 1 & 2 images are spliced into geometric shapes that are first outlined on the canvas. These shapes are borrowed from scientific data and reference crystalline structures created by ribosomes, curves of mitochondria organelles. Interacting layers or volumes of representational elements relate in such a way that the viewer identifies the elements and yet at the same time perceives them as abstract "movements" of colour and shape.