The painting Ulysses is about Jenny's Cove near
St Ives, where we got the fools-gold as kids. It's
a seafaring bit of coast.
I was painting the Siren series at the time and
gave it the title that describes the two figures in the
painting. I've abstracted the figures down to very simplified
the relationship between the sea and coast - Ulysses tied
to his mast, the Temptress on the island: The story of
easy to get lost if you don't distinguish between a painting
that is trying to depict or say and a painting that is
trying to reveal something unsayable. Concealment
is necessary to preserve an efficacious mystery.
Wood is about a place on the way to Godolphin - a
wood that I knew of as a child. But I brought to it the
two figures that I was working with in other paintings.
of the Stones has no childhood associations. But to
understand anything you bring your entire experience.
In a sense you impose yourself on it. This can produce
picturesqueness. It's not so much the superficial qualities
that need to be expressed - it's how you come to understand
this valley on the north Devon coast had for me was a
reawakening of the sense that a glacier came down that
valley and did what it did. It was that distant echo of
a child grappling with geological time - in the landscape,
in the walking.