Last autumn I began a series of paintings around Bosigran - a headland on a stretch of Penwith's northwest coast between Bojewyan and St.Ives that forms a triangle with Watchcroft and Carn Galver. It's a great beast of a place; full of surprise, totally vertigo, scary and exciting.

To resolve different experiences within any one painting I've broken with the idea of a single view: In 'Watch Croft' I'm up on the high ground looking down, but also out to sea looking back.


Watch Croft

'Bojewyan Highway' is about a return journey from Bojewyan to St.Ives and parallels the story of Cadmus, who loads up all his memories onto an oxcart and sets out from Thebes with his wife, Harmony.

Bojewyan Highway
Sometimes a name from the Greek myths comes to mind when I'm painting but I don't always recall who it is: with 'Semele' I discovered her story had parallels with the painting - she's the daughter of Cadmus and mother of Dionysus - Zeus makes love with her and she goes up in a plume of smoke.

Another group of paintings relate to a homecoming - 'Summer's House', 'Out of the Woods', 'Psyche' and others. My wife was critically ill at the time and nearly died; we were living for the day on the hour, calling up some strength inside us.


Out of the Woods


Painting sustained me through this period and to carry on was to hold on to the thread of what had come before. I was painting hopefully, in a way that might make the outcome hopeful - bringing it into the arena, into the light to remake the world and make it well again, like a rain dance or a prayer.

It led to completing something new and that was energising. There's been a shift; an ease with risk has found me.



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