R[o]aming is a series of emotional and chromatic responses to the land and sea around the Rame Peninsula in south-east Cornwall. The natural world has always been the subject of my work and the paintings in this collection try to capture an instant in time within the landscape – the colours, the light, textures and sounds. I like to paint from memory so I don’t paint in-situ but make notes of the how the scene makes me feel; what the weather is like; colours and pigment mixes I might use; and the sounds surrounding me, both real and imagined.
Coincidentally when thinking of a painting in location I often also think of the same subject in musical terms, there seems to be a synergy between painting and music, and yet they each have qualities that the other lacks in terms of our perception of expression.
Having been an electronic music composer for the past 30 years. I decided I wanted to look at the possible link in a different way by bringing in elements of musical synthesis I already use with music composition and incorporating them into my painting techniques – in particular, pulsations, the uncertainty principle and granular synthesis.
The uncertainty principle was developed by electronic engineers in the 1960s, such as Don Buchla. It involves bringing elements of probability into modular synthesis. In pictorial forms I have translated this by using watercolour pigments and lightfast minerals that do not mix entirely to add textural inconsistencies, such as granulation, to the paintings. The rougher the paper used the more these textural changes show.
Granular synthesis involves cutting sounds or pieces of audio into slices or “grains”. These grains can then be altered or rearranged to create new sonic possibilities. I have re-imagined this as grid-like formations where the elements of the grid form a complete entity but where each constituent piece has its own intrinsic value.
These paintings whilst seeming confined are an emotional response to a moment in time. I hope that these paintings can be viewed from a distance to give the overall pictorial form and the closer the viewer towards the pictorial plane the more the textural content comes to the fore and each element of the grid can become a miniature painting within itself. I hope that when you view them you will feel a similar response.