Transaction Series


Following the V &A retrospective exhibition of the work of fashion designer Alexander McQueen, I became more interested in his work and subsequently attended a play about his life.  During the intermission, as everyone was buying drinks at the bar, I noticed the cloth like shape of the till receipt cascading over the bar, moving and turning in space.  The thinness enabled it to virtually disappear in places, like a thread that might easily be cut, yet it continued a steady, graceful decent.  The designer made me see the beauty of its silhouette, which seemed to symbolise the fragility of life and the tragedy of his suicide.

Silver, bronze and steel paint drag left and right expressing space around the form of a till receipt which flows from the top of the tall rectangular canvas, nearly dissappearing at one point and forming a pile of folded curves on a floor plane.
Transaction I, metallic paint on canvas

    As I began to sketch and paint the receipt, I wanted to express the many connections I made to the form of it and all that it began to symbolise.

A multitude of lines in yellow and blue support a flowing white column through the space as the build up of transactions forces the form of a till receipt to fall to the floor.
Study for Transaction, pastel on paper

    Ultimately, a series of paintings and watercolours, using metallic paints, allowed me to explore a number of connections to the subject, such as the commercial demands of the fashion industry and the reflection of a life entangled in it.  I wanted to carve the movement of the form and the space of the painting out of thread-like paint strokes and stitches, as if creating a new textile in the process.  Evenly spaced lines simultaneously began to mimic the endless entries of text on the receipt, as I also wanted to express the energy

The thread-like lines represent both fragility and strength as they work to joins elements together. 

Silver and steel painted lines are repeatedly hatched left and right, up and down, overlapped and directional. They carve out the space around the form of a till receipt.
Transaction II, metalic paint on paper
Transaction Study, oil on paper

I felt there was always a point in the composition where the receipt should appear thin and nearly disappear. All the studies were fabrications of my memory as I kept exploring the composition.

A final exploration of the subject was a series of seven paintings in silver and steel paint which went from light to dark, referencing the way that all things appear and disappear over time and the way memory can be a catalyst for new possibilities.

Transaction Series, metallic paint on paper, 2016

These works were all exhibited at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, as part of the Dulwich Festival, 2017