Adumu: Jump of the Moran II, 2019. Arusha Region, Tanzania. Oil on canvas 80x140cm  

 

 

 

 

 

Preparatory drawing

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

Ramadan, 2015. Cairo's Abdin Palace, Egypt. Oil on canvas 138x184cm

Ramadan takes its name from the sacred month in the Muslim calendar that is observed with dawn to dusk fasting. The setting is the plaza in front of Cairo's Abdin Palace, where women gather to worship on colourful carpets, in early morning light. Bitumen, a viscous, shiny black tar like liquid, was used to paint the women's chadors (full-body cloaks) in this painting.

 

 

 

  

 

Blue Lagoon III in nine stages

         
         
         
         
         
 

 

 

 

Blue Lagoon III, 2015. Vang Vieng, Laos. Oil on canvas 150cm x 185.5cm  

Blue Lagoon takes its name from a traveller hangout in Laos, Asia. Once known for backpacker debauchery; at its peak, more than 400 people a day would use lorry tyre inner tubes to float down the Nam Song river and take ill-advised risks on makeshift swings, slides and zip lines. In 2011, after twenty-seven tourists tragically died while partying on the river, the Lao government stepped in to close the illegal bars that had lined the river and fuelled the partying.

Today the scene is less hedonistic and far more tranquil; Blue Lagoon III is one of a series of paintings that explores the theme of backpackers engaged in recreational activities among the natural beauty of Asia.

While drawings undertaken on location in 2004 were useful, the composition for the painting was based on found imagery. Magazine cuttings and pictures from the Internet were used to make a digital collage using Photoshop, which was projected onto canvas. The main challenge was achieving the right balance between representation and abstraction. The painting has an unworldly feel yet also aims to maintain a believable sense of atmospheric perspective.

 

 

 

 

 

ICE MOUNTAIN III, 2020. Wisconsin, USA. Oil on Canvas, 140cm x 120cm                               

'Ice Mountain' is named after a giant inflatable moored off the waterfront which served as a battleground for waterside activities.  

The painting is inspired by summers spent working as a tennis coach in American summer camps. Approximately ten million children attend Summer Camps in North America each year. It is a transformative experience for many who refer to summer camp as their home away from home. A safe and nurturing environment and antidote to the digital age, 'campers' spend up to nine weeks each summer participating in high-engagement activities that emphasise physical and social skill-building, and being challenged in ways that teach the value and rewards of effort.

Sports coaches (generally referred to as 'counselors') are employed from all over the world but mainly from the U.S. U.K. Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Counselors live with campers in simple gender segregated lakeside log cabins. The painting aims to explore the multigenerational and multicultural camper - counselor relationship. Although the painting was painted in twenty hours, completing it has taken nearly twenty years. The original composition was established in 2002, refined in 2017 before being finally finished in 2020.