This exhibition is a response to Bryan Sykes’ book Eve and her Seven Sisters. In this book Sykes proposes that the collective DNA of all people of European origin can be traced back to seven women: “The seven daughters of Eve, is a first-hand account of Bryan Sykes’ research into an extraordinary gene which passes undiluted from generation to generation through the maternal line, allowing us to track our genetic ancestry through time and space. Professor Sykes has found that almost all Europeans can trace their ancestry back to one of seven women, whom he has named Ursula, Xenia, Helena, Velda, Tara, Katrine, Jasmine.” (Jacket notes, Bryan Sykes, Eve and her Seven Sisters, 1st ed. Banten Press, 2001, 2nd ed. Corgi Publishing, 2002, Great Britain).
A series of paintings evolved in response to this idea using the repeated arc form of previous work where the repetition alluded to genetic codes. The final work in this series (exhibited in the office), pays homage to Gordon Walters’ painting Genealogy. This work can be seen as a precursor to the current works with their interest in our ancestral make up. Part family tree, part repeated code.
Up until this point my sculptures had consisted of three-dimensional investigations into the two-dimensional elements of my paintings. They primarily relied on the axis of two sheets of steel with both positive and negative elements. To an extent, this new work operates in the same territory, with two sheets of stainless steel on an axis and again featuring positive and negative aspects of form. The introduction of figurative elements can be seen as further investigation into the ideas inherent in my paintings they are intended to refer as much to the ideas and shapes of abstracts as well as their representational aspects. I am intrigued with the story of Christian origin which shapes so much of Western Art History, and the lineage and ancestral connections of the key figures within it. This body of work begins with The Beginning.