2.14 - Painting 2011
2.03 - Deliverance

Revisitation 2013 - (Transmigratory Passage of the Death Wish revisited)

The works in this section depict the head of an artist as a mournful, barren state from which sad hope and ambition is externalised in the form of a bird’s departure.

The expression of hope and longing are transmitted into a body of art outside the body of the artist, and the reception of inspiration from that artwork back into the body completes a type of transmigration.

These paintings relate directly to a theme I had established in 1994, entitled ‘The Transmigratory passage of the Death Wish’.





At this time, I had become aware of a model for the self -perpetuating exchange of creative energy, circulating between a ‘mind’ housed in matter, and a type of mythic knowledge which may be imparted to an artwork. This model had informed the symbology in many diverse works I had made in the intervening years. By 2011 I felt the need to reiterate the earlier allegory in a literal manner.


I picture the mind of an artist left barren, once a thought has occurred, as if a presence of being has vacated. A thought takes leave from the artist like a bird, and the originator of that thought mourns for its return. The head becomes like a lump of derelict loam.

I depict a bird taking a sample of the abandoned wasteland it leaves behind, to transplant it in some foreign land, so that hope is renewed. The bird then returns on its transmigratory passage, to deliver tidings of the seed it has transplanted. This gives rise to increased hope and fertility in the mind of the artist.

This model came about through the simple observation of inspiration returning from labour extended towards the manufacture of an artwork, despite the seeming futility of the endeavour. I have observed this process daily, for many years. The foundation for this self-perpetuating exchange of energy I first considered in 1991, when producing ‘Art Battery’.

Hands cover the face as if in grief or to hide the secret theft that occurs within. In many works, hands take on a magical function, so that they are like antennae, from which various extensions of activity take place in the world of the spirits. Like antlers that emerge from the eye, they capture, covet, release and cover.

The winged form of the bird relates to a bony cranial plate lifting off the head. In these, and many other works, I imagine the physical form of the head as a transparent mass, the perimeters of which are transitory, shifting with the ebb and flow of tidal longing.

The facial features are depicted as if seen from within, like the view out through the back of a mask.


The head is a radioactive rock, its forlorn signal emanating forth into the atmosphere like a beacon awaiting some response from the ether.

Interior and exterior spaces are cross-fertilised, so that the point where the ghosts of the birds meet on their inward and outward journeys is at the edge of a newly defined atmosphere. This is a skin between two realms, and the expanding thought field of the artist.

The first six works presented here are all 1520x1220mm, and are produced with oil on canvas. The following works are smaller studies in the same medium.