“There is a city surrounded by water with watery alleys that do for streets and roads and silted up back ways that only the rats can cross. Miss your way, which is easy to do, and you may find yourself staring at a hundred eyes guarding a filthy palace of sacks and bones “
Jeanette Winterson ‘The Passion’ 1998
Venice has always intrigued me. It’s a city of dreamlike menace, rising out of the water with decaying grandeur, impossibly beautiful and almost unreal, the light and the colours attract me. The pale ochre and terracotta pinks of the buildings are reflected in the greens of the canals, so different from Glasgow.
My recent large-scale paintings of beds focus on light filled interiors that are both real and imagined. As with my Glasgow work, the relationship between the inside and outside world remains of interest. The work continues to reflect on the fragile boundaries which enclose us and keep us safe but may be threatened by unforeseen events .
While the larger paintings have allowed for this change of palette, the darker, secretive side of Venice is explored within small intimate spaces. These dark interiors follow past visitors to Venice: John Singer Sargent [1856-1925] and Walter Sickert [1860-1942] made much of the Italian custom for shuttered and draped windows which keep living quarters cool and dark by day. Some of my smaller works focus solely on the shutters and drapes, directly confronting the boundary itself.
Venice is merely glimpsed through the windows, the framing of the city becomes a picture within a picture.
On a recent visit to Venice I spent some time in the home of the amazing multi talented artist Fiora Gandolfi www.fioragandolfi.it by entering Fiora’s World I gained a more intimate view of the city.
30cm x 30cm - Oil on Canvas - This image was used as the cover for "The Posthumous Affair by james Friel published by Tupelo press