John Philip Murray




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Sentinel (Diptych)

Oil on cotton 76x122cm. 2006/7

This diptych was started almost a year ago, from a small drawing that I had made in the previous January. It has been through many changes since then. The right hand panel depicts some kind of labyrinth (the drawing was from a series called 'Human Labyrinth', where parallels with the unseen labyrinths in each of our brains were placed beside images containing a blurred human form in a vaguely landscape setting.) Initially, the left-hand panel, predominantly ochre, depicted a blurred human form and the surrounding landscape was divided into a pattern of mosaic squares. I repainted it, then it struck me as being too fresh and bold in colour, so I contrived to cover the area in a semi-opaque veil of grey/white. Later I felt that this had not worked in my intended way and so I sandpapered it off and re-drew the figure in a much more direct form, while still retaining its anonymity. Even though this has been painted over the longest period of these recent paintings, and had started from the most finely worked-out drawing, I feel that I have become properly resigned to it only very recently.