Gold leaf and shellac on corrugated cardboard
280 x 86cm
This image and its making are somewhat representative of current work. This work in particular is a coalescing of a wide range of influences; from murals of Marabout (holy men) in Mali to key Early Buddhist and Zen Texts. The early texts are the major force in my work where they describe our human condition as like being on fire.
The figure is deliberately representational in terms of its weight and implied movement. This is a body that the viewer can readily recognise and in some way relate to. It is hopefully not a romanticised or valourised image, even as it is gilded. The interpretation of its physiognomy is vitally important as a contrast to the gilt. ‘Soldier’ is an attempt to represent a figure after the hell of conflict, in a paradoxical field of gold.
The painting started as a trace of a figure that was sketched using a data projector. The sketch is transferred onto corrugated cardboard that was then gilded and shellacked. The surfaces were then painted with flame, using several accelerants as well as phosphorus and sulphur compounds, and of course, blowtorches.