“This was all quite sad and I wanted to make paintings about it that were very moving: that would express the tragedy of it all. When I printed up those photographs (I worked in black-and-white then because it was cheaper than colour) I was apprehensive about letting on to anybody about who they were of for fear of becoming unpopular with the other students who were, I believe, all from much more financially and spiritually secure family backgrounds. I was fairly introvert as a teenager because I had always been somewhat embarrassed about the state of my family. Yet after a few months at college I realised that by letting students and, especially, tutors know who the paintings and photographs were really of I could come clean about the family history and hence relate to people naturally. This was quite a load off me and since then I think l’ve been taking pictures of my close family not just as reference for paintings but also as on attempt to comprehend myself and them more fully.”


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