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My work, which can be awkward and penetrating, divides people. The support of one critic, David Lee, caused me to be twice shortlisted for the prestigious Natwest Bank Painting Prize, while another influential writer on art, Brian Sewell, dismissed my work with the claim that I needed to “learn how to draw”. Like all painters, my work feeds off the past but is also dependent on the flood of images of the now. I am inspired by Titian and Francis Bacon, in particular, and by their facility in creating grandeur without pomposity, out of sometimes unlikely material. Their ability to suggest a presence or even an entire world through streaks and smears of paint is something I find very moving. Francis Bacon said, “I believe in deeply ordered chaos,” and although I feel that I do not emulate Bacon’s grand self-centredness or his capacity for generating an epic multi-layered heap of detritus and artifacts like an archaeological dig, I am nevertheless a messy and “spontaneous” worker, and don’t know where the end will be once I have started. Sometimes fragments of photos or memory become large statements, and if all goes well, these shreds of experience carry a worthwhile resonance. Such work can involve trespassing on the suffering of others but not to trespass can feel like turning a blind eye to cruelty and even to condone it.