COG1 Copy
City of Glass 1     150x120cms


'City of Glass 1' was joint-prizewinner in the 2012 Canvas & Cream Art Prize, London, selected for the 2013 National Open Art Competition and shortlisted for the 2013 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.



On an earth-red base-colour, the painting began with a series of long drips, using gravity to establish the avenues, or the city blocks between the avenues. I love watching liquid paint drip downwards, the consistency of the oil-paint crucial. The drip is a mix of control and chance: the placing of its beginning is deliberate but the drips do not always flow straight, sometimes veering off to make beautiful angles. In this painting, Manhattan was deliberately de-cluttered and isolated, revealing its island-shape and its curves, beginning the dialogue with the straightness of the avenues and cross-streets. Manhattan hangs, meat-like, from the crisp structural line at the top of the painting. I've never painted blues like these before. Taking inspiration from the novel, I originally intended to introduce one of the letters that spell THETOWEROFBABEL into the painting but decided there was no need: the Upper West Side, one of the key locations in the novel*, was already emphasized, with precisely scored lines, like a blueprint. Nor was there a need to introduce a building, the new Babel: architecture was implied in the grid pattern of the streets. After all the new Babel does not exist: it is' there but not there', in the mind of the character of Stillman. The key locations in the novel are indicated by tiny green dots: it is for the viewer to become 'detective' and find the clues and links to the text.


COG1 1 Copy




COG1 5 Copy



COG1 3 Copy



COG1 4 Copy


*'The New York Trilogy' by Paul Auster