11 Apr 2012

LE TOUR [a work in progress]

The body of work for the LE TOUR show is nearing completion.

At one stage my proposed list of inclusions seemed a daunting prospect. I've never before created works in tandem; previously focussing on one creation at a time. So some new knowledge has been a pleasant side-effect of a tight schedule - the scope for a given artwork to 'gestate'. By this, I refer to the pause which has evolved, as one prepared artwork sits while another is begun. Previously I would move through the phases of each piece, finally arriving at the brush-in-hand sign off.

Yet now I find the extra time that I 'live' with an artwork, in its expectant state, the better formed are my decisions on colour, composition, and story-telling. Those previously 'accidental' moments of 'devine' execution now less of a wonderful thing, more of a constituent feature.

Ergo, with only a few weeks of making remaining, I am starting work on the show's centrepiece - LE TOUR. This is to be the largest single artwork I have created. A definitive installation. One I have privately dubbed 'My Sgt. Peppers' (in homage to Sir Peter Blake's 1967 cover artwork for the Beatles' Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club album; itself revisited in 2012 as Blake recreates his iconic montage using modern era personalties - a poignant celebration of his 80th birthday).

LE TOUR will feature many of the notable characters who have made the Tour de France what it is. My aim is to fuse the people with the place. And in keeping with the remit of devotional imagery, arrive at a suitable epitaph. The artwork will comprise two parts - a multi-panelled screen, fronted by a decoupage bike frame. Some interesting contradictions already apparent.

It has been a long-term ambition - to apply my practice to a bike frame. And as with my shoe artworks, wrapping the history of one event around the objects which comprise its working parts seems to evoke some succinct form of poetic symmetry. More so, I believe, when incorporating the structure inherent within a bicycle frame. LE TOUR - a landscape of sacred geometry.