VICTIMS - IMAGES OF FEAR & COMPASSION (1980-1983)
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A full catalogue of the 'Victims - images of fear and compassion' series is available to download here.
A extract from a letter sent to the Bishop of Ely, April 1985
About 18 months ago, I completed a series of paintings the intention of which is to express a mixture of fear and compassion which I assume to be a feeling common to outrage, in which implied or actual violence is a constant state. I found the subject of implied violence to be more poignant than the depiction of actual violence, with more chance of avoiding sensationalism in favour of images promoting a quieter, more reflective response.
I must quickly explain that I do not wish to sell the paintings, but to lend them for exhibition in a particular environment. While painting them, my mind returned repeatedly to the holocaust of more than forty years ago as a cataclysmic example of mans fearful ability to dehumanise others of his kind. The paintings are not meant, however, to be pro-Jewish nor anti-German; it is implying that the magnitude of those horrendous events served as a thematic key for a subject which has, unhappily, wider implications.
You may well think by now that it all sounds very dark and tragic. You would be right. I make no excuse for expressing the grimmer aspects of our condition, but I would like to use the results in a positive and regenerative way.
My reason for choosing Ely
the sight of almost all of the stone figures having been decapitated or defaced struck an obvious chord for me
it would be in keeping for the work to be shown in an English church, rather than a synagogue.
"nieutytutowani" (partial image) 1983 oil on cotton 183x203cm