Somewhere Else is a suite of 12 paintings, again, all oil on float-mounted panels, dimensions of all the works: 45cm x 68cm. The works presented 12 views of my palette, rendered in a manner reminiscent of 19th century romantic landscapes and developed from questions arising out of Diary of an Omnivore. At the time of making the works I wrote the following:
Perhaps because my palette is a surface composed on purely utilitarian lines, until lately I have bypassed its existence as an object in concentrating on its use. Yet habitually, I spend more time staring at it than at anything else including both my work and its models, expending more paint on it than I do on any painting. Recently I started to look at it more closely.
While a particular image represents something that may possess a range of further associations, paint as a substance can represent anything and so be potentially everything. Paint has been used to embody the entire gamut of things, thoughts and feelings: even itself. It is the stuff of the whole of representation; more than a language, more like a world. I decided that, rather than paint something else (which had nevertheless been chosen by me so could never be other) now I would find something other in my own, functional arrangement of paint on a surface, in transit towards its final destination.
The process has become a circular activity, the palette for the first painting becoming in turn the subject for the next source image. Each work is a double embarkation: one, purposeful and direct towards the paintings completion; the other contingent, to set out in search of a vista as yet unknown that might in turn become a subject. In doing so I have been surprised to find an object so familiar and routine as strange, vast, explorable, like glimpses into a foreign country; and like any new world, what I see is tinted with delight, fascination and fear. I have become convinced of the existence of this somewhere else; despite knowing the whole time I spend wandering there, that I am peering at areas no bigger than a postcard.
Somewhere Else continued my exploration of how painting could possibly continue to find a valid way of representing the whole world, in the face of its endless proliferation through lens-based reproductions.
These paintings were shown in the solo exhibition of the same name held at the Andrew Mummery Gallery, Studio 1.04 - Tea Building, 56 Shoreditch High Street, London 2 July - 14 August, 2004. Several of the works from this series have also been shown at Frieze Art Fair, Stand H12, London 2003, and Pulse, 69th Regiment Armory, New York 2006.