About this piece
Part of a series exploring graffiti and marks on the fabric of Ely Cathedral. I am intrigued by the presence of people throughout the ages who have left their mark in one way or another on this beautiful building. The arch in this painting is very loosely based on marks in the Galilee Porch where the master mason etched diagrams into the plaster from which masons would take measurements to work from.
Size: 18 x 18 cm
Medium: Oils and cold wax on cradled panel
I am an oil painter working from my studio in my loft in the heart of the Cambridgeshire Fens. Originally a figurative painter, I am increasingly using oils with cold wax medium, which enables a freer, more experimental style, from which my work is currently becoming more abstract and explorative.
I love surface and texture because I am fascinated by what they hold, above and below, externally, internally, and in the layers in between. The secrets held, the history lived, the mystery, and the touch of people passing through.
For this exhibition I have explored the marks that are scratched into the surface of the stone or written onto the shutters in the Octagon tower and throughout the Cathedral. Graffiti is often thought of as destructive, a defacement, but here in the Cathedral I have wondered at the stories it holds about the people who have passed through and felt compelled to leave their mark, from Masons, to airmen, to choirboys to unknown visitors. The meanings of the marks are often elusive. There is the sense of the past being continued into the present, of the presence of the people who have been part of this building felt in these messages held in the stone, of whispered conversations engraved for posterity in the beautiful fabric of this building.
My work is in private collections in Europe, the USA and Central America.
I am published in ‘Portraits for NHS Heroes” and the Cambridge Art Book.
I am a founder member of the OuseLife drawing group as the discipline of drawing, and in particular life drawing, forms a basis of my practice, and I am a member of Cambridge Open Studios and Cambridge Drawing Society.