131 x 211 cms
unusual for me to dream something so eloquently suggestive of a
painting. I was camping with the Whitegate families and dreamed with
a certainty I was viewing a black and white movie of the young men
at Whitegate constructing an edifice. As the camera panned slowly
left to right I witnessed them hammering, sawing, plumbing, digging
and passing planks and tools to each other. All was in silence. I
was in such a reverie on awaking I soon shared the vision with my
fellow campers, stating that I would commit to painting such a rare
the theme, and that no such building was transpiring in the real
world, I interpreted the silence as a thwarting of the Whitegate
residents building aspirations. Was this to be a version of the
Housing Covenant made the year before? When I conceived of a
metaphor to be delivered by an absence of a building and of
materials to work with there was immediate assent to the project.
the third generation French Cubist, Fernand Leger sprang into place.
I had another look at his late career Grand Constructeurs
from the 1950s. They’re a far remove from my style but I took from
his paean to the construction industry the ladders, rope, bike,
scaffolding and the fact that the builders have little to show for
their labours. Leger’s men are pitched against an abstract sky.
Mine, in homage to Patrick Haye’s who’d so desperately wanted houses
for Whitegate and died before such realization, shows his Mount
Antulye at the distant right of frame.