Waiting for the Ferry Bolgatty Island, 2000 - 40 x 60 ins. Oil on canvas
Evening at the Spice Jetty, 1999 - Oil on Canvas, 30 x 40 ins.
Towards the Palace Jetty, Bolgatty, High Sun, 1999 - Oil on canvas, 32 x 39 ins
Rebuilding the Palace, Kerala, 1999 - Oil on canvas, 39 x 42
The Synagogue, Cochin, 1999 - Oil on canvas 39 x 43 ins.
Under the House, Morning, 1999 - Oil on canvas, 30 x 40 ins.
Kerala Backwater, 1999 - Oil on canvas, 30 x 40 ins.
The Sea to the Ahoka Flats, Afternoon, 1999 - Oil on Canvas, 30 x 40 ins.
Under the House, Morning, Kerala, 1999 - Oil on canvas, 30 x 40 ins.
Towards the Sea, 1999 - Oil on canvas, 24 x 26
Sun and Heat, Kerala, 1999 - Oil on Canvas, 30 x 40 ins.
Chapel by the Sea, 1999 - Oil on canvas, 48 x 60
Ponds by the Sea, 1999 - Oil on canvas, 48 x 60 ins.
Edge of the Island, 1999 - Oil on canvas, 30 x 40 ins.
India - 1999 to 2000
Short statement on painting, written in 1999 shortly after his return from India.
Below is an extract from Sargy Mann; Probably the Best Blind Painter in Peckham where Sargy Mann describes being in Kerala and the experience which led to him painting ‘Waiting for the Ferry, Bolgatty Island’
The next day I stayed in bed with a funny sort of headachey fever which too was par for the course, but that evening I felt better and started to take in the trees. The next morning I was fine and seeing much more, it was also brighter and hotter. We decided to take the ferry to the mainland and then another to see the spice market at Cochin. As we were waiting on the jetty for the next ferry I had the strangest experience. The whole world became a gorgeous very bright, apricot colour as if I was seeing through a filter, it was quite exquisite. The sky and sea looked rosey pink, and then I saw high ahead a completely orange tree, a palm with a leaning trunk. As well as this extraordinary colour transposition, I was seeing more clearly and the contrast between the sun on the ground and cast shadows which yesterday had been ungraspably large, was now quite small and was more a contrast of colour. I asked my sister to take a mosaic of photographs and while she was doing this I talked away into my tape recorder. I remember saying that the only paintings that came unbidden into my mind, but which this looked nothing like, were the South Sea paintings of Gauguin. I could sort of understand how he had arrived at those colours, at least to some extent, from perception; red beaches, orange trees, etc….
… Waiting for the Ferry, Bolgatty Island was entirely about the light and how it struck me when I understood it for the first time, and it was the light above all that was the thrill of being in India for me. At this time, when I was seeing very badly, my way of using oil paint was like the way I had used oil pastels in the sixties and seventies; pretty well neat pigments sometimes mixed with white laid across each other in glazes and scumbles until the constantly modified surface gave off the most convincing sensation of light as I remembered it. This process, as I have said before and will no doubt again, is not one way. It is not that I have an experience or a memory of an experience which I then try to find out how to paint. Rather it is as if the act of trying to invent meaningful, expressive combinations of colour is the key that unlocks the, never had before, and therefore unknown and therefore unrecognised, experience. It is the process of painting that leads me from the captivating known and namable to its particular, unique and therefore unknown and unnamable essence and the thrill that comes with experiencing this, or as near to this as I am capable.
Experiencing the uniqueness of the moment is not a survival skill, more the opposite, but is I believe a sort of spin-off capability of a brain which has evolved to do other things. Developing that capability is the practice of art or, of some art.