19. Babel Texts | Drawing Surfaces

1986 National Garden Festival, Stoke on Trent (unrealised hoardings)

3rd May 2006

“A highly coloured visit [where] less were charmed [and] whoever wrote the land spilled over [and] swirled, lushly underdressed.”

Raymond Haines, 9th November 1926 – 28th October 2005

2006-2007 Babel Texts 

“…a Babel of unconverging artistic conversations” [Arthur Danto]

Unlikely happenstance and the aesthetics of coincidence.


…the highs and lows from the recent world eco-friendly clothing customised and uncompromising in the British Army response to various locations associated with research and imagination behind special effect historic and contemporary cross-cultural power of colour depicting friends and family and their interaction with the English countryside in paint on plywood ranging from historic pictures to current cutting-edge digital images of media pieces including photography and print work that are a response to Townley Hall country house portrait paintings of people living in Britain in the 21st century inspired by trekking in the mountains of suggestive transparent layers to enable the spiritually of observing the tension between traditional rural scenes and the realities of modern life to be displayed on the north side of the local markets and massage parlours produce a parody of western expectations from his Lake District tour in 1806…

LINK: 1993 Gillian Rose | Tower of Babel

1977 Royal College of Art Abbey Minor ScholarshipFlorence (Ghiberti / Brunelleschi)

2006-2008 Drawing Surfaces

1989 colour palette (re-worked 23.09.2006)

“A time to break down and a time to build up…” Ecclesiastes

Working Note 18th January 2005

I’ve been realising that I’ve been ‘building’ stacks or piles of stuff since 1975. More recently I’ve been photographing found stacks, usually timber.

The first stack/pile was built in early 1975, and this became a painting that won the Sir Whitworth Wallis Award in the same year and was later included in the Northern Young Contempories.

Stacking and piling approximate to ‘building’ in the sense of construction, or architecture, or sculpture. Stacking and piling are also akin to layering in painting, or drawing, or Photoshop.

Drawing Notes 12th January 2007 

Pure white, 220g/m, matt surface, dense and strong, withstands erasure and reworking, universal application, especially good for pencil and crayon drawings, chalk, pastel and charcoal. 

always drawing
never making a drawing a breathless notation. 

tearing up torn-up tracings. 

held horizontally
in the middle of the page. 

nothing special
“I found that closing my eyes was very helpful to me”. 

smashes down half-erased
starting and breaking a sense of place visible coefficients. 

a kind of ground zero exposure
and openness
no such thing as a renewal. 

answer easy questions raise suspicions. 

huge expanses minutely detailed. 

dense black
shimmering white claustrophobic and abstract. 

the blank
skitter and flicker precarious thrashing. 

disrupted and mocking full of knowing pleasure superfluous

hardly visionary add nothing just walk. 

gestural scribblings effortless
thick drawings. 

glimpsed in passing possibilities. 

randomly arranged half-demolished stacked


and lavenders. 

shut down
final propositions
without interesting possibilities. 

is misleading. 

black and white dabs
stark black outlined overflowing. 

smudging smearing dabbing. 

complete darkness. mocking the legacy. 

blindness imagined
as yet unseen. 

the sky is the limit. 

such as trees
a horizontal line parallel. 

Fernand Leger: Les Constructeurs 1951 

1990 ‘Screenprinted Hand-Made Papers’

Shooting Trucks 

Working Note 1st February 2006 

I should thank Charlie Gallagher for introducing me to this slight but endlessly rewarding activity – photographing the sides of trucks as you overtake them on the motorway*. 

You have to get the timing right (not always easy if using an automatic camera) and you usually only get three or four good images out of any one journey. At their best you get glorious colour fields. And sometimes you get something reminiscent of later photographs of Aaron Siskind. 

If you drop the images into Powerpoint with variable timing on the transition phasing between slides, and loop the whole thing, you get to relive some of the best visual moments of your journey. 

These were shot on the return journey from Yorkshire Sculpture Park last Thursday. 

*Obviously you do this when you are the passenger and not the driver. If driving, it is safer to restrict yourself to shooting the backs of trucks only. 

Shooting Trucks 17.06.2012
Shooting Trucks 14.05.2017
Shooting Trucks 16.05.2017



‘Cut Lawns’

the “factitious unity of the tableau” 18.05.2021 | 23.08.2021 | 23.08.2021