Dismembered Cha-cha-cha

The first panel from the Garden Pentaptych.

Formerly the 1.7x5m painting which provided the background for the photographic portraits of academicians made during the Court Painter Residency at the Royal West of England Academy of Art.

Now cut into five 1.7x1m canvases and reworked as a pentaptych [pen-tap-tick] to represent both the constant growing and dying flora (plants and flowers) and the theatre of fauna (animals) within a garden – which, when fully assembled is an altarpiece to ‘gardening as method’.

As with the residency and subsequent exhibition, this series of paintings is fundamentally based on the links between photography and painting. This is exemplified here in 2 main ways; The inclusion of a central ornate frame on each panel whereby the canvas is removed or rolled back to reveal and frame whatever appears behind. This creates a kind of reverse universe whereby one is now looking at the real world through a painted frame as opposed to a painting through a real frame. In turn, this creates something that resembles a face-in-hole, cut-out board. The type found in seaside towns and tourist attractions whereby one shoves their grinning face into said hole to have their picture taken.