Between 1996 and 1999 I lived and worked in Edinburgh, Scotland. The work I made during this period saw a long period of experimentation in my painting with the themes and images I was working with as I sought to find a new route out of the world of late night Batley bars and nightclubs.
The figures became tougher and stronger portraits of individual characters; tower blocks and concrete backdrops appeared; it seemed like the ‘morning after’ after the night before. I also thought the paintings seemed more reminiscent of my experiences of the landscape of the West Midland’s Black Country and Birmingham where I grew up.
During this period I used a lot of found images to inform my paintings (including ones of Spinal Tap during one particular period of crisis!) as I really struggled to move the work into new areas that seemed more authentic to my present experiences. I made a lot of work, and enjoyed making it, but I increasingly felt in a creative dead end, frustrated with my limitations. The work had become increasingly meaningless to me. Most of the paintings from this three year period remain unexhibited.