Eendraght, Hand mixed oil on canvas, 120x200cm work in progress
By the end of the second half of the 18th century a further level of use of force came into play as the rates of press ganging privateer crews into the crews of admiralty ships became more common with the build up of navy forces. Merchant ships on the transatlantic routes were involved in slavery, the crew might be press ganged, the ship captured by privateers or pirates, and the relationships between private traders and the state were complex and intertwined. The period of the Anglo-Dutch wars was broken by periods of trade and an uneasy peace, while the practice of capturing ships under licence did not entirely go away.
Echoes of the Privateers,
hand mixed oil on wood, with coppered edges
work in progress
So I am starting the year making work that creates spaces echoing with those particular stories of trade, of privateering, the slave trade and the kinds of violence associated with shifts in power and what happens when trade wars become real wars. When competing desires for money and power are left raw and unconstrained so only the most violent, most forceful will win, and power is in flux, and without accountable agreement.
These initial works are in indigo, but there will be others using red and yellow ochres, smalt and madder.
This is in preparation for the fairs that I will be doing in London in spring, The Other Art Fair which will be at the Truman Brewery in March and Roy’s People Art Fair which will be at Oxo Tower Wharf in April. Look out closer to the time for ticket links to both.
When the Fog Comes Down
hand mixed oil on wood with coppered edges
work in progress
All the works shown on this post are incomplete, and this is illustrative of the way that I work on collections. Hand mixing oils and using organic pigments requires long drying times, and layering and varnishing processes need dry lower layers. My studio is currently pretty full of work at various stages, surfaces being prepared, works on the go, finished, almost finished and only just started. While making a collection I like to work in this way so that there is a real relationship between the pieces, they flow into each other, influencing each other and enriching one another. At the point of writing I am waiting for the commissioned giant to be picked up and shipped out which will create more space in a couple of days time, allowing me to grow the collection some more.