Monday, February 25th, 2013
Having, in February 2013, just finished an ambitious piece about an ex-mining community in Cornwall got me thinking about work, life and connections between the different stages of both.
The painting came from a morning spent in Pendeen, a place that’s just a few miles north-east of where I lived at that time in St Just. After enjoying the bustle of the farmer’s market in the centre there, my wife Gabrielle and I climbed Pendeen Carn, the hill that overlooks the whole coastline there. As we looked back I was struck by the juxtaposition of Geevor mine near the cliff top in the distance, the nearer fields and miner’s cottages and just below us some standing grave stones on the hillside. On each level a repeating series of shapes seemed to form a counterpoint to those on the other levels. Over the following days and weeks, as I worked on the 1 metre x 1 metre canvas that I felt was needed to do justice to this particular landscape prospect, I found myself pondering that here was an image of work/home and life/death in balance, all of it presided over by what I call that ocean light that is so characteristic of Cornwall.