Thursday, 6 October 2016


I've found that one of the more amusing ways to pass the time while invigilating the current show, is to observe certain colleagues' reactions to my 'painting of some trees' ( Daphne Francis Gallery off-site exhibition at The Jubilee Centre, Birmingham, this week ).

Colleagues who know my background, and who are aware that I occasionally do representational art ( ie: art that looks like what it is ) in order to challenge myself, may like the art, or they may not. They are comfortable enough to make an honest comment about it.

Conversely, those that are not familiar with my oeuvre, seem to spontaneously develop a constellation of slightly alarming ailments: Firstly, a nervous facial spasm, accompanied by a pronounced stutter. Secondly, a shuffling gait, where they awkwardly stagger away from the artwork, as if suddenly suffering a deterioration of motor skills. To round off the symptoms, a wholesale deletion of memory seems to take place, until a few moments later, they exit the trance-state, and emerge, blinking and bewildered, with no recollection of having seen the painting in the first place. They then carry on looking at the rest of the show as if nothing has happened.

This phenomenon is probably a right-brain / left-brain conflict, brought on by intense academic study, perhaps? The considerable demand on the brain's language centres, means that when faced with a painting of an actual tree, the inevitable cognitive shut-down occurs. This renders the observer temporarily off-line, as signals around the cerebellum are re-routed to take up the short-fall in capacity.

Meltemi II, Acrylic on Canvas, 60cm x 60cm, 2016

This artwork can be seen at the Jubilee Trade Centre, Pershore Road, Birmingham B5 6ND, as part of the Daphne Francis Gallery's WITHIN THE LAND exhibition.

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