Here’s a rather surreal study of the archaic element ‘Air’. I was asked to paint five abstracts to go with the YouTube videos of a new work by the composer Peter White. It was a difficult task: I’m not at all comfortable with the term ‘abstract’ because, for far too long, art has ‘abstracted’ itself, removing itself from the world. In the end, I compromised between the representational and the abstract.
Peter White wrote to me to explain his composition. He wanted to ‘catch the effects one sees associated with air rather than a deeper more profound sense of what air actually might be! A breath of wind catching a petal, the light refracting in an ice crystal, your breath on a cold morning etc.’ I’m afraid I rather parted company from his idea! To begin with, I painted something that looked too much like a Christmas card (in fact I plan to use it as exactly that!) and had to come up quickly with something new. This started as one thing and ended up as another – an entirely pleasing process. I like the heavy concrete look of the balloons, it’s slightly surreal.