Amber stars.

“Amber stars flush past,
fading beneath a shallow façade.”

I first used this particular composition in 2008. Taken at Brookwood train station one evening, I was attempting to convey movement, the passage of trains in the night. Whatever thoughts I had regarding duration, or the presentation of time’s passage in static media, were beginning to take shape here.

It’s a strange kind of nostalgia that greets you when you return to something like this. I always liked this piece, but the original painting was rushed and crude, degraded by incompetent image manipulation. Spending time with it again, years later takes me back to that abstract space you occupy when painting, examining the photo for nuances of colour, lost in a blurred succession of moments that never occurred.

What’s interesting to note is that around this time, at the end of my BA, I still hadn’t fully embraced digital media. There was, perhaps, the fear that the intangibility of digital work in some way invalidated those pieces, that what I produced with the computer was in some way inferior to physical paintings. I was also trying far too hard to make sense of a narrative that hadn’t been written with images in mind. Or more appropriately, had written images in mind, my paintings merely playing catch up to what was already scrawled on the page. In sum, the project was a mess, unfocused and confused, but it did begin, or consolidate some of the recurring themes that would continue in my work.

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