About the Picture
When I was a child I stayed in London with my Great Aunt Mavis. I was 7 or 8 at the time and had a fantastic time visiting
museums, wondering at dinosaur bones, exploring the Tower of London, and all those other tourist clichés. But what I remember
most was a trip to Westminster Abbey. We looked at the stained glass window, and I was mesmerised by the colour and light.
My Aunt being a patron of the arts (she volunteered at the Victoria and Albert Museum for much of her life) was surprised
at my aesthetic sensibility; quite precocious for a child. I never thought of it this way; my memory is of something beautiful
and nothing more, but from this early memory something has grown into my adult life as a love of colour in art. This tiny
painting, which in actual fact is closer to a small painting tile, a fetish or amulet, is about the darkness of church light.
Something strange but cold: the stone walls, the Alter; the dread of the sacred that fills such spaces. The phrase for me
that describes this painting is: life lights up death. So, whilst this painting was not made for such Mavis as such, since
her death this summer, I have revised its meaning for me, and found a little place of remembrance here: I'll think of her
showing me London that summer all those years ago for the rest of my life.
Click on the image to see the picture in more detail.