Low Relief Construction

A whole series of my work has been inspired by a drawing of my father’s from 30 years ago. His original was based on visually extracting shapes from a classic Tumbling Blocks schema used in drawing, painting, patchwork and many other formats.

This is his drawing on paper in ink and two thicknesses of line.

I have made a number of drawn versions of my own.

A sketched and cut version in heavy water-colour paper.
A sketched drawing in white crayon on water-coloured paper.
After many other versions in drawing, painting and cutting I have now embarked on a low relief version in painted plywood. The pieces were cut out usung a tiny reciprocating jig-saw that my mother owned from the mid ’80s.

Here are some of the stages I have passed through. Hopefully tomorrow it will be finished.

Drawn out with pencil and set square, then cut out with the jigsaw
The complete design incised into the backboard
Laying out the pieces and deciding how far away from the surface they should sit.
Some of the pieces with spacers glued to the back
Painted and ready for assembly

Ups and Downs

Ups and downs

Here’s a painting of my father’s, undated but I think from the early 70’s. He was doing quite a lot of work like this then, quite large paintings with geometric shapes painted in flat bold colours. As with most of his work from that era, the frame is a simple aluminium L section, nothing to divert the eye from the image. How times have changed – he was offering it for sale for a mere £15!



Striped Polygons

A painting by my mother dating from the early 70s, it is 1.4m square and hangs on my living room wall. The pattern is based on a complex series of rotations and mirroring at more than one level as well as another set of rules governing the colour changes. I’ve spent many hours trying to decipher the rules and have made progress but there is still some areas of mystery.

My parents experienced first hand the theories behind abstract art in the 70’s whilst attending the unique Barry Summer School in South Wales set up by Lesley Moore, educator and painter. Geoffrey Steele, Kenneth and Mary Martin and many others shared their ideas and theories in a series of workshops. 

It is a great privilege to have this painting on my wall, maybe I am biased but I think it would stand its ground in the Tate Modern.