About the Picture
From the window of my flat in Liverpool, across the street I could see an open park, with a series of tower blocks lining
its far side. Cars with gangs of kids would pull up, and dissipate into this landscape. It is this memory, and the paintings
of Michael Collins, my friend and fellow painter at the Liverpool School of art, who rendered Runcorn's council estates so
wonderfully, that influence the scenery of this work. As an idea, the composition follows a curve beginning with the three
snakes in the bottom right of the picture and ending with the ship in the top right: its theme is release, and expulsion of
history. This purge occurs both at a personal and a mythological level. It is simultaneously seen according to the conclusion
of the scapegoat complex as explained in Adorno and Horkenheimer's Dialectic of Enlightenment and by a personal journey that
ultimately purges the self of blame and transfers negativity onto the past. The snakes appear three times, bringing a glass
of blood red wine. A world is transformed, taking on a human form: the fox runs from the urban park; he is reduced to scavenging.
The two figures find their arms caught in the poise of work: typing fingers. Above their heads three ghosts hold up the
visage of nature: a plucked leaf. Another fox embraces his new civilized life; his nose leads him to a panicked man who has
thrown out a cask of water, a soldier with laurel leaves and medals applauding the sacrifice of a pig, and naked women who
carries a bust on her head as a beacon. A boat rests on the horizon: an escape perhaps?
Click on the image to see the picture in more detail.