Acrylic on Canvas, 400mm x 500mm

Donald Trump, the man who may yet become the 45th President of the United States.

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The UK recently held a referendum (ostensibly) over whether to remain in the EU or not. The outcome was 52% in favour of abandoning the Union and ‘taking our country back’ (and other mendacious mis-truths). The country is still in shock, the political parties are in freefall, and there is an overwhelming sense of confusion, grief and disbelief throughout the nation.

At times like this I am struck but how little direct agency I have over such things – sure, I cast my vote – but the ensuing clusterfuck is something I can only watch from the sidelines.

Without agency, I tend to react with art.

(At least I have control over the end of a paintbrush.)

This painting is entitled ‘#Brexit’ and features a skeletal Britannia, floating out to sea, atop a shit, wearing a helmet with UKIP plumage.

Acrylic on Canvas, 400mm x 500mm

Until I started painting this image, I’d never noticed how much the Union Jack shield and seated position echo the shape of a wheelchair.

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Robin, laughing

My friend Robin, laughing.

Acrylic on Canvas, 400mm x 500mm

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Meredith (2015)

I met Meredith sometime around 1995, after she left a note in my pigeonhole in Oxford, suggesting we meet. I had no idea who she was, but agreed anyway. We spent a delightful evening in a bar where she told me various tales of her life in Hollywood.

Acrylic on canvas 600mm x 600mm

Our paths crossed again, a few months later, when I found myself in LA. It was there that we shared that most unique of American experiences – being held up at gun-point in an alley in West Hollywood. I distinctly remember the barrel of the gun being thrust into my chest, coupled with the demand “give me your money, motherfucker!”.

That was 20 years ago, and though our paths have crossed a few times since, I don’t think we’ve been in the same room for over a decade. Hence this painting has been derived from photographs, rather than a traditional sitting. It is more the ‘idea’ of Meredith, rather than the ‘actuality’.

Given her career as an actress, this feels somehow fitting.

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acrylic on canvas 762mm x 1062mm

A portrait of a good friend, I don’t see often enough.

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