A desolate place

I’ve always loved the escapism of old black & white films and B movies, a contrived, ethereal world of dark shadows and strange figures.
My original influence for this series of paintings was from a scene from such a film, where a suspicious woman follows her friend’s husband to a deserted beach on Staten Island, New York. She tells the friend via telephone of how she followed him and what she saw on that eventful day, giving the scene a voiceover.
 This scene that existed for me in a short, fuzzy piece of video footage became fascinating; I wanted re-imagine this landscape, to explore it further and look from other viewpoints. I began consulting old photographs, maps and eventually built a scale model of the buildings. As I worked on the paintings I created my own dialogue, the landscape started to become mine. My intention was to get the viewer to become the protagonist, making them the watcher in the shadows! The style of the work is detailed but at the same time unrealistic to convey the sense of obsession, it’s what I call “Unrealism”.
Whilst working on these paintings my own marriage was breaking up. The obsession, bleak desolation, melancholy and unknown forces were all things I was experiencing at the time. The paintings were done during the only time I had to myself, very early in the morning and because I had to hide them away, the format was such that they could fit above the fridge in the kitchen!