The combination of a love of cubism, in this instance Juan Gris and a delight in city buildings at night, led to the first small painting Untitled 1998.
Although all the compositions may be strictly horizontal and vertical, they all have their own formal solution as to how they work. Some, like the aforementioned Untitled 1998 and LXV, MM exhibit tonal gradation within every form. Some use a combination of flat shapes and areas with gradation such as IV, MCMXCVIII and LXIX, MM.
While works such as LXI, MM and LXVIII, MM use purely flat shapes. Instead of overlapping forms, the composition is created with interlocking forms. This is analogous to a puzzle in which every piece has its correct place.
These paintings see the re-introduction of colour after the limited palette of the linen works. In many ways they are a summation of the different themes and approaches to pictorial space. Paintings such as Aubergine, Ginifer Furlong and Pyxis Nautica see the previous background forms of the later large paintings dissolve into cloudy amorphous areas.
The Merchant of Venice and Venus Fly Trap replace the refined gradation of the small paintings with on the one hand, a simplified technique and on the other, more complex colour relationships.
Parallel to the series within a series of the black paintings are the paintings Google Earth, Large Hadron Collider, One Direction and Organ Pipes. The large ‘bars’ lock in the background areas producing shifts in the picture plane.
The textured support of the masonite is a foil to the fictive space of the paintings. Spray paint allows for the efficient creation of soft or fuzzy edges, emphasizing the importance of decision making, not technical procedure.
The belief that the work already exists within the support and that the artist simply has to reveal the composition, can act as a powerful metaphor irrespective of its truth in reality. A stretched linen support seems far more appropriate for Harlequins House and The Tempest than a framed masonite panel.
These paintings continue the structural properties of the canvas drawings and 2006 linocuts almost to the point of illusion. The imaginative leap from abstract composition to moody representation is almost a given.
Medium-sized paintings (140cm x 110cm)
In a move that seems logical yet not inevitable (Painting I, II, III, IV and V, 2007), line has gone beyond just highlighting a few shapes to encompassing every single shape in the painting.
Ironically, the line that suggests a network of forms keeps every form separate from each other. Colour starts to challenge drawing as to what establishes the figure/ground relationships and drawing starts to take on an eccentric expression.
The change of scale and simplification of drawing make the following series (Painting VI, VII, VIII, IX and X, 2007), appear close up in comparison to the first medium sized paintings. The reading of positive or negative space now depends upon the different areas within a form, not just the forms position in relation to the others.
Pictorial space has now become extremely shallow, supported by the limited colour range. A shifting in identity also takes place within the white lines. At times they play the role of bordering shapes, at other times they declare their independence as elements in their own right.