29/13 ‘Coast’ Oil on canvas 61 x 46 cms has now dropped out of The Gallery.
The note appended to it when exhibited read:
‘The model in my mind – a characteristic one – as I started to compose this painting was of looking down at a vertical air photograph or large-scale map of an unspecific length of the north Norfolk coast: hence drained land with fields in the left lower half, flooded land bottom right, and sea in the upper half.
This is one of several works painted under the conscious influence of Barbara Rae, one of whose compositional templates is to divide the canvas roughly into two horizontal halves and then divide the lower half roughly into two quarters. You can, of course, see it in my terms – though I now wonder if the ‘sea’ is not the ‘sky’, involving a right angle change in perspective at the ‘coast’, or it can be an abstract of rectangular blocks of strong, bold colours with no figurative element or narrative at all.
If so, the question I ponder does not arise but I would like to know why the ‘river’, lower centre, is not allowed to flow out into the ‘sea/sky’ but is instead diverted both ways along the ‘coast’. That being so, which is the agent of coastal erosion, the river or the sea? So this painting, in my mind, inspired very much by what I see along the East Anglian coast, and in particular by the stretch fronting Blakeney/Salthouse/Cley, Norfolk, may or may not be an abstract but it is actually about the changing relationships between coastal land and water.’