Defining the Contest of the Drains

2008, 96 x 174 cms

While researching the Breughel I came across a reproduction of Christ and the Adulteress, 1565, a painting I'd never seen before. Principally, the attitude of the kneeling Christ and the bent disbelieving man facing him entranced me. I liked the Venus type attitude of the woman as well and wondered how I could go with this and retain some of the left/right symmetry. There were models of such archetypal paintings in Courbet's great studio piece, in Velasquez's, Surrender of Breda, and a recent work by Mark Tansey of the American and European Schools of painting after the Second World War. I wanted to retain that divisionist element; bush and mongrel dog to one side. Town and pure breed to the other. Ronnie Webb is scrawling in the sandy drain in front of the bridge. His sons are loaded with stones while the townies bear learned texts (their agents of definition).