An online exhibition from 1st October 2023 until 31st January 2024
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The subject of travel is a wide ranging painting subject which I often return to. It includes road, rail and air travel, and also hotel accommodation; the earliest painting shown here is Filling Station on the A10 Road painted in 1974. The scene is located in the flat countryside of Cambridgeshire, now so long ago that it is almost historic, with myself being served at the petrol pumps; and just look at the prices on the pumps, all in gallons. That is 5 litres per gallon. The most recent road scene is Roadside Café at Dusk painted earlier this year; its original inspiration however dates back to the 1970s. Yet another idea from that time that I have always intended to do, but had never taken up. Such scenes were far more common then, when there were far fewer motorways, but they still exist and this has been brought up to date.
Air travel is not something that I do, so most of these pictures are either from my imagination, or from ideas told to me or seen on television, that I experiment with. The exception is The World Travellers, which is based on my own experience of when I travelled to Australia in the early 1980s to see my brother John. The plane landed to refuel, and as passengers we got off for a short break during the long flight. I noticed this scene then; the huge plane right up to the airport window; the wonders of modern technology. The strange feeling I had then I remember, of being suspended in time. Half way around the world, of being not attached to time or place.
My attention to rail travel was first captured by this scene in my painting Winter Journey to Cambridge, painted in 1985, taken from my notebook sketches when on the journey I noticed the constantly changing wonderful effects of sunlight and shadow on the seats and on my few fellow passengers. Every rail journey since has been for me something to look forward to for new subjects; and often comes as a relief, a distraction, from what is sometimes these days a journey of curtailment and stress.
Finally a few hotel subjects are included. Two from a stay in Marrakech years ago in the 1980s in a modern hotel, where the various floor levels were connected by a suspended staircase, On the Hotel Stairs 1985 shows that, with the young woman’s dress culled from a fashion magazine photo and changed to my own requirements. Hotel Marrakech was painted that same year, and sold at my exhibition at the October Gallery in London that year, where both were shown. The subject of hotels and guest houses is something I would like to do more of.