I grew up on animated cartoons – my favourite was Crusader Rabbit and Rags the Tiger.
I thought I wanted to be an animator, working for an animation company making cartoons. But then I went to art school and discovered painting and sculpture. No comparison. Instead of being a cog in a factory it was possible to just follow your dream and create your own vision. All right, the paintings I was making didn’t move, but that was a small price to pay for the enormous freedom you had working in your own studio.
Now, many years later, I am still fascinated by movement, and people often say that my sculptures are full of movement.
Even the static process of making a painting has a time based element in it. In one sense, a painting is nothing more than the record of all of the brushmarks made over time. Judge for yourself in this time lapse of a painting being created.
A while ago I came across ‘The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa while away on holiday. It was inspiring me to make some drawings, and all I had with me was my iPad. So I started to sketch on the pad. The phrase which started me drawing was the following –
‘The only reality is each man’s soul and everything – the exterior world and other people – is but an anaesthetic nightmare, like the result, in dreams, of a mental indigestion”. As I was drawing, I noticed that the app I was using was recording everything I drew. Eh voila! There was an animation. I then noticed that the iPad had an app called GarageBand on it – and I wrote some music to go with. I was sketching in film.
Interesting, I thought. So eventually I began to work film into my working process. Often I take photos to use as starting points for sketches and paintings. Now I used cine footage just as often. And whereas I still use a sketchbook, I find that the iPad offers the additional possibility, of breaking the drawing down and making it move in time.
While in Italy this summer, I asked my wife Jenny to take some pictures of me while I was showering. And then I did the same while she was showering. A series of about 25 watercolour sketches followed. Then an equally long series of iPad drawings. The result was combined into a film, with a new soundtrack. It all seemed to add up to a very evocative feeling of taking a shower, on a very hot day after the beach. And here is the result, ‘Taking Turns in the Shower”.