Memories of early life in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) evoke wild elephants, buffalo, the Colombo Zoo and swimming club. Voyages to and fro on ocean liners and BOAC Super Constellations - my first Coca Cola aboard one remain brighter than the years that followed at Morrison's in Perthshire from 1953. Life became an adventure once more at Bath Academy of Art, in the village of Corsham, and on through Reading University. Influences still echoing are Michael Craig-Martin and Tom Phillips. Michael's Oak Tree is perhaps the most genuinely philosophical art work bar none and its Kantian mystery inhabits me to this day along with Tom's, "I can only truly use chance, when I can use chance by chance". (What more can I need?). From college days to a daily economic and intellectual struggle in the East End of London with a fits and starts effort to keep an art practise going I was never short of an intense debate and wayward lifestyle. Forages into Gurdjieff, Rudolph Steiner and perhaps most contentiously Scientology have all been important studies and influences. Old friends are still friends: Anne Bean and Malcolm Jones, Jonathon Harvey and the Kipper Kids among others.
With a move to South London proceeded a long interregnum, (30 years) at least artistically, though in a deeper way it was artistically essential. I ran Aesop Education, a Home Tuition Agency, sat and still sit on Foster Agency Panel Meetings. I never really missed art, after all we had been trained to see the art in everything and art as everything. In most ways it had worked! In a more recent casting of this debate Anne Bean coined the term 'A-artist' (like Atheist) and exploring a distinction between: 'finding being as an artist or finding one's being in the art practice itself, which has, as it were, been returned to the space of life.' Throughout this period I learned more philosophy and got asked to give talks at the South London Philosophy Circle Meetings. I am permanently touched by Parmenides, Zeno and other Pre-Socratics and it is about them I have had most to say. I counted Professor Ray Billington as a good friend till his death in 2012.
I bought my studio at Parade Mews in Tulse Hill in 2011 on a suggestion by my friend Anne Bean (Chana Dubinski). 20 artists linked up to buy a cluster of units at auction and it is now a small community. It has taken a while to renovate the place as it was a mess but thanks to Giles Pritchard (who has his own studio) it sports new rafters aloft and a spiral staircase up to a small eyrie and upper studio. The concrete floor at the lower level proved too much for cold feet and a wooden one has at last been installed, largely solving the problem.