An Englishman in Andalucia
Dark, broody, flames flickering through a purple and chocolate brown backdrop…a portrait on the wall is alive. Dressed in the guise of a toreador, it is my self-portrait, part alarmed, part anxious, as I consider conflict in my life… the ever omnipresent concerns which come of big changes and repercussive decisions, a conflict which is played out in reflection in a Spanish bull ring; the steady workmanship which comes of intricately embroidering the matador’s traje de luz being the catalyst of the conflict, as blood pours from the pin which pierces at the heart of the bull.
Set in the context of Andalucia, where I was when I painted the piece, this is the work of An Englishman in Andalucia… when my displacement in Marbella triggered a time of contemplation, when internal thoughts just poured onto the canvas. In the midsts of expressing my preoccupation of the time, I was inspired to utilise the Spanish corrida as my protagonist, having passed a bullfighting poster on my way to the beach. From that second onwards, this painting sprang into mind as I lay on the beach, and that afternoon I rushed home to start work on the piece.
It is a painting which deals with the contrasts and conflicts which are always present in my life. The fact of being English and living in Spain, the repercussions of pursuing a creative career which inevitably meant the sacrifice of another. It is a brooding contemplative piece, but for me its creation made for a satisfying process. And in so far as its motifs are therefore consequently dark, the effect of painting it was to fill my mind with clarity and light.
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