call centre painting

     The four Call Centre paintings immediately pre-date the Press Cuttings work but are part of it in all but name. They share the two main characteristics in that they derive from images cut from newspapers and they have an all-over composition without an obvious centre of interest.

     Call centres occupy something of an odd position in contemporary society in that everyone is familiar with them, most people have direct experience of them but very few have physically encountered one.There are occasional fleeting images of them in the media, but our normal dealings with them come, of course, in the form of unsolicited (and generally unwelcome ) telephone calls. We hear, but mostly do not see, them.They are, as a consequence, somewhat disembodied. The call received could originate anywhere from Hull to Hyderabad, only the accent of the caller that indicating which part of the global village it is from. Some companies on the subcontinent train their staff to talk with an English accent and to use idiomatic phrases thus blurring the boundary further


     A painting by contrast is a completely 'embodied' thing, a solid physical entity. There is in this series an intention to attempt to pin down, to make solid and permanent, the ephemeral elusiveness of the subject.


     For me the image always comes first, before any ideas can be extrapolated from it. This set of work in that sense is no different; the source images being clipped from newspapers initially simply because they attracted my visual interest. Everything else came after.


     I have recently become increasingly drawn to images, generally photographic, involving pattern; not in the sense of repeat textiles design pattern but rather manifestations of it in everyday life. In these paintings the grid of screens and bays gives a formal rhythm when viewed from a distance whereas, from close up, a wealth of incident becomes visible.  The pattern quality of the subject results in a lack of a centre of interest in the images, a kind of all over 'dispersed' composition.


      The paintings are fairly large and certainly a massive jump from the source newspaper cuttings. It requires much guesswork and invention to develop the necessarily sketchy visual information. The paintings develop slowly, additively with many revisions and alterations along the way. This is not a comfortable procedure and is the reason that a different methodology is arrived at to resolve each one. There are various intuitive cum quirky elements for example the computer screens in the first painting became a bit like early Kandinskys and the pinboards in the fourth resolved into 'Rothko-esque' compositions




acrylic on canvas        sizes in centimetres


Call Centre 1 (Borderless Painting) 162 x 196 2010
Call Centre 2 (O2 Arena) 137 x 222 2010/11
Call Centre 3 (Kolkata Conversation) 192 x 112 2011
Call Centre 4 (Bangalore Blues) 125 x 186 2011/12