Sowing Seeds

In January I went to live and work in a small tribal village called Badanga in Rajasthan, India, along with international and national artists for two weeks. We were all selected to participate in the annual Sowing Seeds residency program, which has been hosted in different towns of Rajasthan for the past seven years. This was the first to be run at the farmhouse of Chiman Dangi, artist and founder of Sowing Seeds.  The whole village, especially the children, were very excited. Continue reading “Sowing Seeds”

Frames of reference

What Is Paintable?

Through The Trees

My primary interest in painting for the last 40 years has been how to depict and respond to a range of landscapes. Before I can begin to think about painting a place, there has to be a specific reason to do so, and the place must have a particular resonance with me. My recent work can be divided up into three groups: paintings of Tuscany and Umbria, paintings of Andalucía and paintings of the Thames Estuary around the RSPB reserve at Rainham Marsh, not too far from my home. Continue reading “What Is Paintable?”

Frames of reference

Pantalica

Sitting here on lockdown, having earlier walked our prescribed exercise route, carefully plotted through burgeoning local parks and side roads, the trees and hedges heavy with blossom and alive with birdsong, more-so it seems than ever this year. Strange contrast with the quiet tragedy unfolding around us, the closed doors and closed curtains and the quiet ambulances in the streets. I’m itchy to be away from here but there’s nowhere to go. So I’m looking back through old photos and I find myself in Sicily, two years ago when we were free to go wherever we pleased. We were staying in Syracuse, on the island of Ortigia, and each day we went off in a different direction. On this day we headed inland, due west to the ancient prehistoric site of Pantalica. Continue reading “Pantalica”

Frames of reference

San Michele De Murato

Stuck inside my quarantine cell on a sunny April evening, sheltering from the coronavirus epidemic outside on the streets, sunlight and birdsong streaming through the open window, remembering how freedom of movement was once taken for granted, and how quickly we’ve adapted to our new limited horizons. I tell myself it won’t go on forever and escape into daydreams and memories of last year in Corsica. This was our first view of the church of San Michele just outside the village of Murato. Continue reading “San Michele De Murato”

Frames of reference

Carpentry In Kyushu

My aunt is a traditional Japanese carpenter who works on building projects using time-honoured methods. She is commissioned to do large and small buildings. I was fortunate to join her for one of the larger projects. She works much like an architect and hires other professionals when needed. She plans all the logistics and makes all the joints and also works on-site. Continue reading “Carpentry In Kyushu”

Frames of reference

From Saint-Florent

Earlier last year we were in Corsica again, this time staying in St-Florent. Our house was on the edge of the town, with a view eastward across a field to the ancient cathedral and the hills and mountains beyond. This was the heart of the Roman town, before the Genoese new town developed on the coast. Continue reading “From Saint-Florent”

Frames of reference

A Winter Window Of Summer Sun

Oil paintings by Marcel Gatteaux in the window of the Rowley Gallery throughout January, shining their warm colourful light on a cold grey Kensington Church Street. A winter window of summer sun. Continue reading “A Winter Window Of Summer Sun”

Frames of reference

The Journey Of Things

At the Sainsbury Centre in Norwich to see Magdalene Odundo’s exhibition The Journey of Things, a celebration of 45 years of her amazing hand-built pots, featuring many of her iconic vessel sculptures, and accompanied by a history, or rather a herstory, of inspirational encounters along the way – touchstones first seen at the British Museum, the Commonwealth Institute, the Museum of Mankind, the Pitt Rivers Museum, Kettle’s Yard and the Sainsbury Centre itself, to name but a few. Continue reading “The Journey Of Things”

Frames of reference

One Last Day In Ortigia

This time last year we’d recently returned from Sicily, and two sultry weeks in Ortigia, where the balcony of our apartment looked out over the sea. We watched through our crystal ball, waiting each day for a breeze, but the sailing boats passed by inverted, the air was still and we were becalmed. Continue reading “One Last Day In Ortigia”

Frames of reference