The Flower Paintings 1993-1996
These began as a conscious attempt to ‘start again’ – to learn and reacquaint myself with the fundamental ideas about painting that has informed artists from a long historical lineage. I chose the ‘flowers in a vase’ motif because it offered an organic form (flowers) with a man-made structure (vase) and a spatial setting – a table top. The fragility of the flowers meant that they required a more direct and urgent attack. They constantly change in the vase, so expressive speed is necessary, in order to finish with a work that has all of the qualities that I seek in my painting.
I must add that I had at the time regarded the painting of flowers as a particularly ‘taboo’ or ‘non-male’ art direction in contemporary art practice, even though Manet, Monet, Corot, Van Gogh and Morandi, among others, who I greatly admire had worked with this subject; but took on this challenge anyway.
These paintings led to subseqent exhibitions : No Junk – Mail? and Suburban Ornament.