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“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”, Albert Einstein

During the Jan 2021 lockdown in Portugal, I began the From Nothing series – 100 A4 paintings – while unable to explore the beautiful country I had moved to. The process of working within a constrained format meant I had to push my creativity with very limited external inspiration. Similarly to painting within a consistent and smaller format, being in confinement meant an adjustment in our concepts of space in daily routines. A nature and landscape theme became clear very quickly, perhaps as a way to psychologically extend my physical space.

As summer approached, I returned to some abstract landscape paintings started and abandoned a year earlier. I remember these paintings began with all the vigor of a new immigrant – full of enthusiasm and visions of the future to be – only to be quickly dashed by increasing Covid-19 restrictions. The paintings lacked the input of appropriate inspiration – until I was able to make a trip to Madeira Island. I spent a week lost in the old, magical Laurisilva forest, imagining the island pre-human settlement, soaking up as many details to bring back to the studio. Feeling entirely revived and reconnected with the outside world, I returned to my landscape paintings, reworking and embedding the passing of time into their development.

The Abstract Fantasy Landscape paintings developed a focus on reimagining current realities whilst still retaining embedded notions and concepts: A mountain range became graphical stripes; a river could be orange; a waterfall can fall from the sky. Everything is the same but different. These paintings explore my personal transition of moving countries, and in the current times they explore the changes to our lives as a result of the pandemic. As the From Nothing series branches out into different sizes and formats with the Abstract Fantasy Landscapes series, new challenges arise and spark more shifts and changes. As the world desperately tries to spring out of hibernation into bloom, so our perspective shifts accordingly.

Meanwhile, nature and life continues.

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