Blog: Moments of Reflection

November 3, 2011


Sometimes in a moment of reflection, I look at one of my wall mounted paintings and ask myself “why did I paint that?” Usually, the only good reason I can come up with is “because I wanted to paint it at the time”.


This begs the question “why do I paint?” The sheer enjoyment and sense of freedom that the act of painting gives me, plus the sense of achievement I feel on completing a work, are satisfaction enough. But any written explanation must go beyond this! So I will try!


We live in a world where human life on earth is difficult for most people. Millions starve or live a short life of basic survival. From the time I was born in 1937, the world population has exploded from a little over 2 billion to 7 billion in 2011. I don’t even want to be reminded of the countless additional numbers of those killed in human conflict during this time span. And likewise, those in authority don’t want to be reminded that this population explosion is completely and utterly unsustainable. If humans don’t solve this problem, natural evolution will!


Partly due to this population explosion, society is becoming increasingly more organised and organised societies are full of personal impositions, restrictions, rules, regulations and constraints. All are designed to curtail personal freedoms. The system of world finance based on the American model of “free market capitalism” still prevails. Governments are currently struggling with little success, to find a replacement for this failed “creative” credit based system. The personal constraints of “having no money” and the need to “get a paid job” or seek what are euphemistically called “entitlements” are leading to a situation where all the traditional concepts of “work” are being confused with “paid employment defined by rules set in accordance with the latest establishment thinking”. Unfortunately this capitalist pyramid system channelled 20% of created capital into the control of a fortunate top 1% of population. Self regulation meant that the system imploded when manipulation of credit, which relied on “market confidence”, became “too creative”. In order to sustain this financial model, more and more “exotic” ways of creating capital had to be found and employers were encouraged to seek the very lowest cost base wherever in the world this could be sourced. Accountancy systems ruled. Greed prevailed. Ordinary people became pawns in a game of chance. Creative thinking or contrary thinking was frowned upon. Art became a traded commodity of marketed “names”.


But times are rapidly changing. The establishment of the internet and other evolving forms of communications are leading to a loss of authorities “control over the individual”.  Established systems are unable to adapt to the ever increasing speed of change. The worldwide intellectual empowerment of the individual seems to be generating an unstoppable new force. Human nature is such that “prediction” of where the human race may now be heading has never been more difficult. I confess to not having a clue!

What has all this got to do with my art? ------My art is about escapism. Or interpreting in an escapist way, the confusing problems of the world indicated above. My art is about personal freedom, and personal expression.  My art is “work”. It is about creative, contrary and inventive thinking. I try to express ideas in paint without inhibition.

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