28/11 ‘South Lookout, Aldeburgh’ Collage 59 x 44 cms
When exhibited, this work was accompanied by the following note:
”South Lookout’ is an older painting that I exhibited at Aldeburgh in my first solo exhibition in Suffolk (2011). At the time, I was still very much filled with the joys of exploring a new (for me) landscape and especially the experience of re-connecting with the sea; Aldeburgh and its miles of shingle beach were a particular challenge to a would-be local painter.
At the same time, a well-known London art dealer, Caroline Wiseman, was establishing herself in Aldeburgh in a house opposite the South Lookout which she soon acquired and started using as the focus of her ‘brand’ and the activities she inaugurated. The Lookout is now a newly-famous ‘locus’ for her ‘Residencies’ during which artists of different sorts, including painters, climb the twisting outside staircase, sit in the small room projecting sea-wards at the top and are variously inspired (or perhaps not in some cases) – see the photograph of it in Bill Jackson’s photo-montage in my blog of 7 February.
I was also revelling in my first experiences of artistic beach collecting and using the found objects in paintings and other works. Here the two bits of wood, the nail and the wire mesh (perhaps representing tackle used in the barely surviving off-the-beach fishing) were all off the shingle, used as found. Here the beach is the brownish centre ground, between the sea beyond and the whiteish revetment wall and road in the foreground. The nail, right centre, represents the South Lookout, complete with projecting room at the top; the bit of wood, left centre, the North Lookout, both prominent structures at the top of the beach; but I can’t explain much else about the painting. It just happened. It requires strong light bottom right for exhibition. The transparent half-figure rather furtively exiting right is a Dali-esque whimsy, perhaps echoing the somewhat surreal nature of the whole. A human figure in one of my paintings is itself surreal – for the painter at least.
I have brought this seven year-old painting out of retirement at this time because it reflects, at an early stage of my ‘Suffolk phase’, my current interest in Aldeburgh beach, witnessed by my blogs in January/February, 2016.’