World Serpent

Circle Paintings

I began doing these paintings in the nineties after a visit to the Tate St. Ives in 1998 There were some small circle paintings there, only a few inches across. I began to paint larger ones eventually up to 72 x 72 (180 x 180 cm)

I am attracted to the circle shape with its geometrical logic and symbolic associations. It has been called the most perfect shape and is the basis of the mandala. Using the circle as a template allows me to work with different colour compositions and spatial arrangements.

One thing I noticed early on was that although I was theoretically working within the field of abstraction it was impossible not to make representational associations from the colours and shapes. So for example a blue area seems to be skylike and suggest depth whereas as a speckled broken ground looks very solid. A point of white on black looks like a star and so forth. The mind is constantly imputing meaning onto form and indeed maybe its primary function. As a practising Buddhist this ties in with the Buddhist idea of reality being created and processed by the mind and this certainly seems to be the case. The world is a very convincing illusion but an illusion nonetheless.