The photos above show the stages in the construction of a ruined section of church or abbey. Made from sheets of polystyrene foam, and coated with plaster filler, before finally painted in washes of oil paint. The similarities between the diorama and a Caspar David Friedrich painting is not coincidental!
This marks a significant departure from the ambiguous cardboard structures that have until recently provided the inspiration for my paintings. I have resisted heading in this direction for some time, and for two reasons: firstly, I’ve felt it was a retrograde step, reminding me as it does of modelling-making hobbies from my youth. But my interests were taking me in this direction, and so I decided to follow them wherever they lead. And secondly, such an emphatic reference to a recognisable object I felt would be limiting, that it would narrow interpretive responses or narrative possibilities. However, by directly invoking the tropes of the Romantic landscape tradition, I feel would be an engaging strategy the better to explore the ideas, values, and political concepts that inform our understanding of landscapes in Western art.