In Search of Paradise

Colville Gallery
2012

I have always been fascinated by exotic cultures and locations and feel a sense of awe and excitement in the atmosphere of such beautiful and mysterious places as the Alhambra Palace in Spain and the Taj Mahal in India.

The impact of the Persian garden on the surroundings of the Alhambra and the Taj Mahal was a recent topic of research and its associations with the Paradise garden became the starting point for this exhibition.

The essential feature of these gardens is water, which gives them a pool or surface to reflect the surrounding imagery. Trees give both shade and fruit, and colourful and sweet smelling flowers encourage birds to fill the garden with song and to help establish an atmosphere of a sanctuary or Paradise.

The journey into these cultures, so different from my own, enabled me to collect and absorb inspiring material for processing into my own practice. I have created works which relate to my emotional and intuitive responses to these very personal experiences.

“If you could pass through Paradise in a dream, and have a flower presented as a pledge that your soul had really been there, and if you found that flower in your hand when you awoke.
Aye! And what then?” *

* From The Unpublished Notebooks of Samuel Taylor Coleridge