A Folly of Ambivalence
(And the Spheres of Influence) - 2013

It's hard to know where to start in trying to explain what's in the thinking behind this piece. Here goes!
I suppose after I finished "A Folly of Futility...." in 2008, I began to identify a lot of "mental follies" that I've been involved with or had indeed created myself - some intentionally and some I might still have trouble recognising today. I don't know how many I may be able to portray in imagery or even whether I want to - but every now and then I stumble over something that triggers off an idea or feeling I have that has been fermenting, or maybe even festering in me: eventually it all comes out!

And so as usual - this piece started with a doodle. I began by building a concrete and rock, semi-permanent structure, which I then clad in glass. The transparent shell came about just because - I thought it looked "interesting". It seemed to disguise the core structure which had evolved, rather like an out-of-control building project with no planning regulations. Eventually the structure turned into something that had a very ambiguous appearance and which I began to switch seeing as "edifice or artifice"? And that was it........for a good few weeks.

However, as with virtually all of my work, the longer I "live" with any particular piece which has no title - (and the title can sometimes take as long to arrive as the image takes to create) the piece of work will ultimately reach a point of transformation when it seems to take on an "autonomous" life - a sort of entity, which goes off in search of its own interpretation and identity. This piece wouldn't even let me sleep properly - it kept waking me up with suggestions and interpretations that I didn't even know I had in my head!

The next "change" was an idea which came to me on one such night. I saw the structure as some sort of citadel or fortress that was either defending against the outside or imprisoning something inside - this was the point of arrival of a single, enigmatic, armour-plated ball: a "Trojan" ball at the base of the structure. There was trouble ahead!

I cannot recollect the number of skips I went through in repositioning the ball: its size and its external material, before I decided to introduce for some reason - a second ball! This immediately set up a conflict, as this ball "demanded" some discerning difference from the first one - it was the "opposition". So I basically decided to keep the two balls equal in size and shape, using just colour and textures to convey an equal opposition - good/bad, right/left, history/future, yin and yang etc.

The image was now finished - no it wasn't - using an "ivy growing plug-in" which I'd recently mastered, I decided that this structure needed the added look of having been there for some time - it was now a truly nonsensical "folly"! Exactly as they are meant to be.

However...........as I write the concluding part of this description, some months have passed since I begun the previous section and I am now amazed at the number of "things" (events, political statements, newscasts, and even physical structures) that now appear to me as "Follies of Ambivalence". Some are grand, impressive and confident looking, as the various "Spheres of Influence" set-to constructing their own ill-fitting parts, possibly or probably knowing that it will eventually amount to nothing.

I suppose the biggest, most distressing "Folly" I see at the moment is the recent events being reported from Syria. What monstrous "construct" is going to emerge from the "Spheres" influencing its outcome. 2.05.13

.............."A Folly of Ambivalence...(And the Spheres of Influence) " - detail