Tuesday, July 28, 2020
Monday, August 17, 2020
Across UK

My lockdown paintings established a new way of working as an artist, and feature different bench scenes, from all around the UK, wrapped up with hazard tape to stop people using them during the crisis. The paintings were sold as part of the Artists Support Pledge initiative, and so were never publicly exhibited.

I hope to publish a fully illustrated catalogue featuring 40 of the paintings, accompanied by a short introductory text by myself and an exclusive new essay by the acclaimed writer, broadcaster and film maker, Michael Smith.

The book will be an affordable way to enjoy this collection of paintings, and your support will also help generate continued production of new work and commissions.

The COVID-19 lockdown changed things for everyone, not least for artists who are still adjusting to new ways of making work in different circumstances. For me, this meant a change to a smaller, more domestic scale, as the studio was out of bounds. It involved a change in medium, and focused on small watercolours that I could make more easily at home.

​My process shifted as I noticed friends posting pictures online of benches enrobed with red and white hazard tape, preventing the benches being used for that which they were intended. The result was a kind of three-dimensional calligraphy, the tape wrapped around the bars and planks of the benches, a casual quotidian rhythm making marks in space, different on each bench, like a Poundshop Christo.

I gave friends instructions on how to compose source photographs for me, and this became a chance lockdown collaboration, between the unknown worker who wrapped the benches, my friends who photographed them, and myself who painted them. All working in isolation.

These paintings developed into a large body of work and proved to be very popular.  I think they captured something of the surreal quality of lockdown, and spoke of the COVID zeitgeist. All works went directly to collectors as they were completed, without ever being exhibited, or even all being under the same roof at the same time.

A selection of the work can viewed at my website here.

The work is too significant and timely to be dispersed unexhibited and exist only privately, and the pieces have a great impact when viewed as a collection. A physical publication is an ideal solution and a way to bring each of those separate paintings, from all over the country, back together.

The book will be full colour, and approximately 52 pages printed on white silk 150gsm paper, with a matt laminate 300gsm softback cover. Each copy will contain a Thanks list of everyone who pledged to support the project.

You can back the project here –