Hyperrealist art can show us things that we would otherwise ignore or unconsciously reject as ugly – like a puddle. It is a style that often confronts us with the ‘abject’: petrol stations, ugly street corners and gutters. I wanted to paint something that draws from hyperrealism without spending the time that a truly realist painting would involve, and this is the result. It also seemed important to say something about the gutter and what is found in it. This particular statement is just the beginning.
Puddles are very interesting things. They can transform a moment, even a day. Puddles move attention from what seems grey and prosaic to the reflected world above. It was satisfying to paint the different textures, the dandelions and grass growing in the cracks, and the decaying paint of the lettering. This bus stop was in a well-to-do area, so there are no blobs of chewing gum or cigarette ends – they’ll no doubt appear in another painting.
Though this is a painting of a gutter that could be from almost anywhere, it belongs with my other Winchester paintings. There is the Queen at Christmas, the water meadows, the Hospital of St. Cross and Autumn light, Winchester college Playing Fields.