In recent years my interests have turned towards cosmology and the problem of understanding what the world is made of.
You will often hear artists speaking of space and light, but on inspection these ideas turn out not to have moved on since the 19th century when the Newtonian view of infinite space and time still dominated.
Here we are in the 21st century, almost a hundred years after Einstein revolutionised ideas about space, time and gravity. In the past, religious art reflected artists’ attempts to understand and communicate ideas about creation and the cosmos. Modern equivalents are hard to find.
Here, there, now and later, are part of the fabric that shapes our lives. Yet their independence is an illusion. We live in spacetime. Space and time are linked together — each can be traded off against the other.
This is only the start of the weirdness. Matter (you, me, the earth) bends space. In fact matter, far from being indestructible is forever being created and destroyed in the vacuum of empty space. And space itself (our universe) is expanding faster and faster from the pressure of ‘dark’ energy that no-one really understands. Even our galaxy is held together by the existence of ‘dark’ matter that we cannot detect.
These facts are hard to understand. Indeed, understanding them, not as abstract equations but as physical realities in the way that we can understand much of biology, may be beyond us.
My paintings cannot explain modern cosmology. They are not diagrams or illustrations. They are an exploration of some of the ideas within it —the creation of space and matter and how they interact.
To do this I try to let the paint speak for itself —to let the physics and chemistry of paint take over. The visual mysteries these create are, in a way, a reflection of the deep mysteries of the cosmos.
The notes at the foot of the works give more information about the specific themes they address.